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Editorial: Drastic Changes Needed to Solve New York's Public Housing Crisis

Even if the money for repairing New York City's public housing were to materialize, it would be money poorly spent, according to this editorial.
September 14, 2018, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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An editorial by Crain's New York Business makes the argument that it makes more sense to raze New York City Housing Authority properties (i.e., the projects) and build new than it does to repair the existing properties.

To bring New York City Housing Authority properties to a state of good repair would cost $31.8 billion, according to an assessment released last month. That is 23 times greater than the agency's capital budget and more than 100 times the federal capital funding it gets in a year. The city won't allocate that kind of money, which is as much as it costs to operate the entire Police Department for five years. Albany has pledged $550 million, less than 0.2% of what's needed.

But even if $31.8 billion fell from the sky, patching up Nycha's 326 projects and 176,000 apartments would waste money and human potential.

The argument made by the editor's of Crain's appeals to the purely rational (i.e., money would be saved in the long run) and the political (i.e., "no politicians are held accountable, and the system needs to be rebuilt along with the buildings).

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Published on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 in Crain's New York Business
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