The Community Service Society (CSS) commends state leaders for the just announced FY2016 budget commitment of $100 million in capital funds for major improvements in NYCHA public housing, the state’s largest single affordable housing resource for low-income New Yorkers. Our July report, “Strengthening New York City’s Public Housing: Directions for Change” confirmed the accelerating deterioration of living conditions in NYCHA apartments since 2001 as a result of disinvestment by all levels of government. The report recommended the state and city make long-term capital commitments to restoring and sustaining NYCHA buildings. In mid-March, CSS helped organize an Albany rally that gathered over 500 residents and advocates to press the state to help meet the need. The $100 million allocation represents an unprecedented and responsive state commitment to our public housing and a great start toward restoring NYCHA’s aging infrastructure.
With this in hand, our attention is now turning toward pressing for a parallel commitment of capital funds from New York City. Weeks ago, Mayor de Blasio challenged Governor Cuomo to commit $300 million to NYCHA, which the city would match. At a planned City Hall press conference on Thursday, April 9th, we hope to be able to affirm the city’s $300 million commitment and look toward a period of local and state reinvestment in NYCHA and its residents.