The Nation’s Largest Public Housing Authority Is Running Out of Money

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.

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1 Comment

Filed under Life in the Ghetto

One response to “The Nation’s Largest Public Housing Authority Is Running Out of Money

  1. Grover Mannings

    LOL. Priceless. That was entertaining, informative, and depressing all at once.

    Conservative Republicans bow only to who has the most money. Their campaigns are funded by big business, Wall Street banks, and wealthy individuals who don’t want to see their taxes increased. They could care less about the downtrodden, hard up, or simply unlucky “regular” people that require an extra boost to live productive lives. Let’s face it: chances are, there isn’t a single person in Dick’s building who has any sway with a Republican Congressman because they barely have enough money to order a Big Mac and soda at McDonald’s.

    What do they expect with all these cuts? That people will move out and setup tents in New Jersey?

    More to the point: wouldn’t cutting Federal aid to public housing programs actually exacerbate the current problems, forcing some out on the streets; others into petty crime to make ends meet; or still others to tap into retirement accounts reserved for later in life?

    Republicans don’t want to spend money on poor people. Democrats are willing to help out but the bureaucracy, red tape, and hopelessly inefficient housing administration program is wasteful in and of itself.

    The only fair compromise is to raise money by saving it. Get someone involved in the housing authority who will fire all the deadwood, modernize filing work with computers, and run the agency with a cost minimization mindset.

    Further, setup viable recycling programs. Most of what we throw away is packaging and 100% recyclable (plastic, paper, cardboard, tin cans, etc.) Establish community compost piles for food waste. Offer money to people that bring recyclable waste to drop-off points. Then, load up bins and cart the product off to a company that will pay to get readily reusable materials. Make it a business transaction. Heck, even those without homes would jump at the chance to make a few dollars even it means sorting plastics, paper, and metal.

    Dick for city council 2012!

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