A few weeks ago I went to a talk by Margarita Lopez one of the board members for the nation’s largest public housing authority and the green coordinator for NYCHA. She gave a talk about how Congress is expected to vote to cut funding to public housing yet once again. She of course riled up an entire room filled with angry tenants and they are expected to march in our nation’s capitol. Not one to be ignorant I always wondered why conservative Republicans always want to cut funding to public housing. I write this not to dispute that public housing is underfunded. It is severely underfunded. However NYCHA is an agency overrun with bureaucracy and inefficiency. The following is a satirical piece I wrote about why NYCHA is running out of money. This may be funny however the truth is all the numbers are actually true, taken from financial statement analysis that Dick can only do.
The New York City’s Housing Authority recently published its Five Year Plan to Preserve Public Housing and will need to ask for more federal funding before Obama might possibly lose his second term. We have many smoke and mirror techniques to assure we get the funding we need. For example we will tell everyone we have a green agenda to replace hot water tanks with more energy-efficient ones. Even though our utility costs have increased $100 million in the last five years (from $429 million to $530 million since 2006). We will install surveillance cameras but when police ask to see them we will tell them it is too grainy to be of any help. We will also install recycling bins but not use them. If additional cuts are needed we will figure out additional ways to lower resident’s services. Our employee fringe benefits will remain high and our pension costs will double every decade. ($271,577 in 2006, $473,682 in 2011 to an estimated $554,095 in 2015). If additional employees need to be released we will start with provisional who are actually doing work; those who are permanent but take afternoon trips to Kohl’s department stores can stay.
We will do nothing to make sure residents don’t leave their garbage in the stairwell, elevators and hallways, vandalize property or commit crimes. We will blame this on lack of funding. Our whole goal is to ask for more federal subsidies for police patrols to deter crime and private contractors to haul more of our garbage. We will be raising rents on tenants who are not on public assistance. If you attempt to be a working class American we will be sure you pay more rent. If you are on welfare, food stamps and have one more child we will make sure that child is getting his recommended daily allowance of Sip soda. Oh and I forgot, on top of our budget woes we also want to make sure that the 365 thousand tons of garbage that are not recycled is disposed of properly. That means the other 99% of New Yorkers are paying for it to be barged to Virginia, Pennsylvania and China if necessary.
We will be marching in Washington DC next week because Margarita Lopez has pinned conservative Republicans as the culprit. As neglected low income New Yorkers we believe NYCHA must be funded fully even if it is at the expense of Americans.