One other metropolis Housing Authority bigwig, David Farber, is packing it in, the fourth because the company’s lead-paint scandal broke. But NYCHA boss Shola Olyatoye isn’t going anyplace.
The mayor stated but once more this week that he’s excusing her gross failures and lies, as a result of she saved NYCHA from going belly-up. One drawback: She did no such factor.
When Olatoye took workplace in 2014, de Blasio argued, the company’s “working finances was close to chapter, actually.” But “beneath her management,” its funds circled. Financial savings “went again to NYCHA,” letting it pace up repairs.
Uh, not fairly. True, NYCHA ran deficits for 9 years previous to 2015, as a lot as $149 million in 2013 and $37 million in 2014, as a Residents Price range Committee report factors out. And sure, over the subsequent two years, it turned surpluses, $159 million and $36 million.
However because the report additionally notes, “the constructive outcomes” have been thanks “largely” to federal and metropolis actions, not Olatoye’s work.
The feds upped help to NYCHA in 2016 by $82 million over 2013. Additionally they compelled it to hike rents, netting the company an additional $122 million between 2013 and 2016.
Metropolis Corridor helped bail it out, too: It took 41 neighborhood and senior facilities off its fingers, shaving $9 million. It dropped its $73 million cost for police providers and one other $27 million NYCHA had paid in lieu of taxes.
Although near-bankrupt companies may freeze (if not lower) employee pay, NYCHA wages truly rose 5 p.c between 2013 and 2016 (although fringe advantages fell a bit). And whereas its worker headcount dipped, a lot of that got here from shifting community-center employees onto town’s payroll.
Then there’s a $48 million, or 9 p.c, financial savings in utility prices, “largely because of falling natural-gas costs,” notes the CBC — a windfall Olatoye had nothing to do with.
Sure, the company managed to chop its per-unit prices, versus rent-stabilized items, but these outlays are nonetheless 45 p.c increased.
And for all this luck over the previous 4 years, NYCHA nonetheless faces a return to deficits in coming years. De Blasio’s declare that its funds at the moment are “secure” are as empty as his pretense that Olatoye labored miracles.
Oh, he additionally says NYCHA’s crime drawback “was large 4 years in the past,” however Olatoye helped convey it down “steadily.” Whats up? Crime dropped citywide over the previous 4 years. Why does she get particular factors?
But even an excellent fiscal file wouldn’t erase her lapses: failing to see that lead inspections are executed after which mendacity about it, leaving tenants with no warmth and ceilings to collapse, and on and on.
De Blasio, determined to point out he cares, on Wednesday stated town will spend $200 million to improve NYCHA heating programs. One catch: Renovations received’t end till 2022.
Tenants could freeze till then — however Olatoye has little to fret about.