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NYC Agrees To Spend $2B To Fix City’s Public Housing Stock

Campos Plaza, a public housing building in New York City, as of September 2017

New York City will reportedly spend $2B over the next 10 years to fix its crumbling public housing system as part of a settlement agreement with federal prosecutors.

The city has agreed to sign a consent degree that will see the administration paying $1B over four years to the New York City Housing Authority. It would then pay $200K every year for the next five years. The Wall Street Journal first reported the agreement, which was announced Monday.

In 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York began looking at the New York City Housing Authority's buildings. Its investigation established that lead paint in apartments had not been dealt with and that broken boilers were unattended to, meaning thousands of residents were without heating in one of the coldest winters on record.

Once the agreement is signed, NYCHA will become New York City's responsibility instead of falling under the purview of the federal government. NYCHA runs 176,00 buildings in the city, which are home to 400,000 residents, according to the mayor's office. In total, the housing is reportedly in need of around $25B in repairs.

“Decades of divestment by the federal and state governments and decades of neglect by New York City government have pushed our public housing system to the brink. I didn’t run for mayor to continue that history. I ran to help turn it around," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement announcing the consent decree. “By further acknowledging and providing solutions to a decades-old pattern of mismanagement, divestment and neglect, I am confident this settlement will be a turning point for our public housing system."