Secretary Carson Announces Agreement to Improve NYCHA Living Conditions

HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently announced an agreement with the nation's largest public housing authority to correct dangerous lead-based paint and other health and safety hazards. HUD, the Justice Department, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a Consent Decree with New York City and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to resolve widespread issues of lead, mold, pest infestations, and other inadequate housing conditions.

Under the terms of the agreement, New York City will invest at least $1.2 billion to abate lead-based paint hazards in tens of thousands of public housing units and will correct a number of longstanding housing deficiencies including inadequate heating, failing elevators, and a significant backlog of work orders. In addition, a court-appointed monitor will oversee the city's corrective action plan and will ensure compliance with the Consent Decree.

More than 400,000 residents live in NYCHA properties, exceeding the number of residents living in the next 10 largest public housing authorities combined. In addition to the agreement, New York State placed NYCHA under a state of emergency order in April and is committing up to $550 million to assist the public housing authority in resolving health and safety issues.

In addition to annual public housing capital funding from HUD, New York City will provide the following financial investment to support NYCHA under this agreement:

  • $1 billion in capital funding over the first four years of the agreement;
  • $200 million in capital funding each year after the initial four-year period;
  • Additional operating and capital funds through 2027; and
  • The city will continue its current practice of not seeking payments from NYCHA for “payments in lieu of taxes” and police services.

The Consent Decree resolves the federal government's civil complaint against NYCHA. As a result of the agreement, HUD will lift it's “zero threshold” for NYCHA and allow the agency to resume spending its existing public housing capital funding without seeking prior HUD approval. This year alone, HUD is providing NYCHA nearly $1.5 billion to further assist the agency to meet its capital needs and to operate its programs.