March 28, 2023
The HUD Agreement appointing me as Federal Monitor requires a significant commitment of NYCHA resources. Operational funds are critical to addressing the most pressing problems.
NYCHA’s progress has been jeopardized by the shortfall in rent collections which provide operational funding for the improvements in the living conditions residents have long waited for. In fact, it also interferes with capital improvements, such as the 70 projects that NYCHA paused this month as a result.
The rollout of the ERAP program is to a great extent responsible for the increase in rent arrears from $125 million in 2019 to $466 million at the end of 2022. While the program was intended to provide assistance to all New Yorkers, NYCHA residents needed and expected the relief they were unlikely to receive from the very beginning.
NYCHA has said that unless it receives the needed operational funding immediately, it will not be able to meet its obligations under the HUD Agreement and make improvements related to heat, elevators, lead-based paint, mold, pests and waste.
As a New Yorker, I personally believe that working towards the betterment of the living conditions for residents of NYCHA, should be a paramount priority. As the NYCHA Federal Monitor, I am strongly urging elected officials to allocate funding to NYCHA to prevent any further cuts to repairs and services that are so essential to its residents.
Very truly yours,
Bart M. Schwartz
Federal Monitor appointed pursuant to Agreement dated January 31, 2019