Public Housing Residents Get a Bike-Share Discount, but Where Are Their Stations?

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ChrisHamby via Compfight cc
Whether it's a totalitarian plot or the city's most heinous aesthetic decision ever, we've heard a lot of reasons why Citi Bike is awful. The New York Post, for example, chose to highlight Citi Bike as "unfair" because the bikes have a loosely enforced weight limit. But grasping, vitriolic bike-share hatred aside, the Post may have hit on a salient point about the program's fairness. New York City Housing Authority residents, for example, get a $60 discounted membership (as opposed to the full $95), but the stations are located far away from the bulk of public housing.

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NYCHA's Willingness to Meet With Frustrated Red Hook Residents Makes For Calm Protest

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Red Hook public housing residents and community organizers took it pretty easy on the New York City Housing Authority during their rally outside of the agency's headquarters yesterday.

For a community that went weeks without water, heat and electricity, observers might've expected the atmosphere to be a little more contentious. But, those pushing to gain relief for the community's public housing residents say they're encouraged by NYCHA's willingness to sit down with tenants to hear their grievances -- a meeting that will take place this Friday.

"There have been people who have been trying to get NYCHA to respond to the fact that they need repairs for years...I know that generally the word you get is 'send your paperwork downtown,'" Reg Flowers, a community organizer and private housing resident of Red Hook, tells the Voice. "So, for NYCHA to come to Red Hook and sit down with a number of community members is something that is very new for us."

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Public Housing Residents Fed Up With NYCHA's Rightsizing Transfer Policies

Categories: Public Housing

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Residents who attended yesterday's City Council Committee on Public Housing hearing accused the New York City Housing Authority of employing aggressive tactics to transfer people out of under-occupied units.

NYCHA is out of compliance with The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's mandate that all state housing authorities assign families to appropriately sized apartments. There are more than 15,200 overcrowded apartments and over 56,300 under-occupied apartments in the city, according to NYCHA data collected earlier this year.

An under-occupied apartment has one extra bedroom. Extremely under-occupied units have two or more bedrooms and make up about 12,000 of NYCHA's under-occupied units.

The agency is ratcheting up its rightsizing transfer program to meet improvement goals laid out in Plan NYCHA, which is a comprehensive five-year plan aimed at preserving and improving the city's public housing system for years to come. While residents, advocates and legislators agree that families should be placed in appropriately-sized apartments, many of them are not pleased with the way the plan is being implemented.

"I understand the need to maximize the utilization of the City's precious public housing stock. I am, however, extremely concerned by the lack of forethought that has been evident throughout the process," Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, who represents many public housing residents in her Upper West Side district, wrote in prepared testimony. "I have heard from dozens of public housing residents in my district who have been given misleading and often incorrect information by the housing assistants to whom they were directed."


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Boston Consulting Group's Secretive $10 Million Report on NYCHA Not So Shady After All

Categories: Public Housing
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Jason Lewis/ Village Voice
Ann Valdez, (left) testifies alongside fellow members of Community Voices Heard.
The Boston Consulting Group's $10 million evaluation of the New York City Housing Authority's central office and infrastructure has all the makings of some good old chunky scandal-soup:

1) The chairman of an already cash-strapped NYCHA signs off on a $10 million contract with a private consulting firm that he used to work for.

2) Once completed, NYCHA refuses to release the firm's  report on the agency to the very public that paid for it.

3) The City Council and the public get really pissed and demand that NYCHA share the consulting firm's findings.

4) Months later NYCHA releases a report to the public, except it's not really the report, it's a Power-point summary, which amounts to about $93,000 worth of consulting work per slide.

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The NYCHA Spending Saga Continues as Bloomberg Brings Aid to Agency

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On Wednesday, the New York City Housing Authority released a consulting report done by the Boston Consulting Group that painted an ugly picture of what goes on in the largest public housing agency in the country. It was your typical bureaucratic clusterfuck - backlogs, overcharged items, the whole nine yards. For what the NYCHA oversees, it made the agency look like an amateur in comparison to other cities' housing agencies. 

And it pissed a bunch of people off - our fellow Voice scribe Candace Wheeler reported on the City Council oversight meeting concerning the fuss.

The dominoes continued to fall Thursday, as the Daily News investigation into what exactly was going on hit the press, citing the overpaid salaries of executives there, especially President John Rhea. This led to Mayor Bloomberg's announcement that two top executives would be replaced by two volunteers, one of whom actually lives in one of the buildings. The step forward marked another chapter in the chronicles of the Hozziner's drama with the NYCHA; one that has become a looming problem throughout his tenure.

But, this morning, it has been reported that the Bloomberg is installing yet another measure to continue efforts to stifle the drama. In his weekly radio address, he announced that he would be outsourcing some of the agency's jobs to other City departments to lighten the load off an agency that apparently cannot handle itself.

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Council To New York City Housing Authority: Where Is Our Money?

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The City Council wants answers: What has the New York City Housing Authority done with $65.4 million?

This afternoon City Council held an oversight hearing, which typically do not take place during the summer, to receive an update from the New York City Housing Authority on how it has allocated funds to install security systems in public housing.

NYCHA is the largest public housing system in the nation, with over 178,000 units and 400,000 residents.

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Bedford-Stuy Projects Probably Not Most Apropos Place for Prison-Themed Playground

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Here is an instance where one can watch a complete lack of institutionalized tact unfold, if there ever was or is such a thing.

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