On October 20, Community Voices Heard's public housing campaign released a new report highlighting, the $423 million in Recovery Act funds that the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) received to make capital improvements, such as replacing elevators, roofs, boilers, and making buildings more energy efficient. The report focused on NYCHA's responsibility under federal "Section 3" regulations to provide job opportunities for public housing residents and community members with these types of federal funds.
The report, "Bad Arithmetic: The Failure of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Recovery Funds to Create Jobs for Local Residents," shows that too few jobs were created for residents with the Recovery Act funding.
CVH also conducted a survey to better understand how familiar NYCHA residents are with the housing authority's responsibilities to create jobs. Through the collection of over 300 surveys from housing developments around New York City, CVH found that the vast majority of NYCHA residents surveyed were not informed about job opportunities, nor did they see stimulus work being done in their development. When NYCHA has received similar funding in the past, work had not been completed, contractors performed sub-standard work that required more repairs within a short amount of time, and money disappeared or had been diverted elsewhere.
Roxanne Reid, CVH member and Tenant Association President of Castle Hill Houses in the Bronx, said while participating in the release of the report that she has sent over 30 residents to NYCHA Resident Employment Services to receive training, but that NYCHA, "was telling Castle Hill folks the classes were filled. This was good but unfortunately, many of these people who received training now say to me 'Ms. Reed, when can I get a job?' It's not easy telling them, there is none."
CVH members called on NYCHA to ensure that 30% of the hours worked on projects funded with federal money are by public housing residents, not the current, weaker standard that permits just 30% of new hires to be residents or community members. They also called for expanded transparency at NYCHA and that the authority set aside a portion of the capital budget for residents to allocate through a participatory budget process.
By NYSA on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 11:32 AM| No TrackBacks
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