ALBANY Gov. Cuomo said Thursday that the New York City Housing Authority’s problems have more to do with a lack of good management than money.
Responding to recent complaints by Mayor de Blasio that a lack of federal and state money are behind many of NYCHA’s issues, Cuomo said on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” that beleaguered public housing residents are tired of finger-pointing.
He said that’s why a group of NYCHA residents recently filed a lawsuit claiming mismanagement on the housing authority’s part and seeking a court-ordered independent monitor.
“They want results,” Cuomo said. “This is a real-life issue.”
Cuomo said tenants don’t care about political squabbling. They want NYCHA to fix lead paint, heating, and mold problems.
“The problem is when they say ‘money” that is political pandering,” Cuomo said. “NYCHA’s problem is a management problem. When they tell you it takes us three to four years to spend money that we got today, that is a problem. People can’t wait three to four years to turn on the heat. Lead paint is a problem today.”
Cuomo said NYCHA is “wholly controlled by New York City” and federally funded.
“What the residents are saying, and what NYCHA is saying, is they can’t spend the money in a way that will make a real difference in people’s lives because of their bureaucracy,” he said. “If you actually want to accomplish something, solve the problem. Don’t just come up with more political talking points.”
Cuomo and de Blasio in recent years have fought over a host of issues, including public housing.
While the mayor says the problems are tied to a lack of federal and state funding, Cuomo argued Thursday the state is giving more than it ever has during his time in office.
“I’m in the business of getting results,” Cuomo said. “That is in my DNA. And they are right, NYCHA cannot implement the changes quickly enough. That’s the truth. That’s the problem to solve.”
The de Blasio administration had no immediate comment.