"'We're in the midst of a massive recession, and it just seems unbelievable to me that we are sitting on thousands of affordable housing units that people can't use,' said Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. 'I believe this is a total and complete crisis in the Housing Authority. The inability to rehabilitate and get affordable apartments to people on the waiting list flies in the face of what public housing is about.'"
"Lynn Godfrey, an agency spokeswoman, said the authority had reduced the number of vacant units in recent years. In November 2007, there were 6,545 vacant units off the rent rolls, and in November 2009, there were 3,298. Of those nearly 3,300 apartments, a large number - 1,790 - are undergoing and awaiting renovations, Ms. Godfrey said, while 438 are being used as office space for tenant associations, police officers and health services."