The Story

A federal judge nixed the consent decree signed by the New York City Housing Authority and the U.S. Department of Justice, ruling that the agreement, under which an independent monitor would have overseen the agency, was inadequate to the challenge of fixing the agency’s dilapidated network of public housing projects. It’s true that appointing a monitor was an insufficient fix, but a federal takeover of NYCHA—which the judge seems to favor—would be a disaster. NYCHA requires local control and effective, tough management to get back on track.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Details: A federal management structure is ill-suited to address project-by-project needs–from broken buzzers to malfunctioning boilers–which demand intensely local knowledge. Read more.

  2. Slow: Federal assistance has been available for NYCHA in the form of refinancing options for several years, but the de Blasio administration dragged its feet in getting help. Read more.

  3. Master: Stan Brezenoff, NYCHA’s interim head, has a long, successful track record of managing complicated government entities and is best positioned to attempt a turnaround. Read more.

“Funding alone will not solve NYCHA’s problems, if anything will. It will require the hands-on management and local accountability that characterizes city governments when they work.”

Howard Husock, Manhattan Institute vice president, research and publications

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Innovation Can Save Our Public Housing By Howard Husock, New York Daily News (June 26, 2013)

“Some hope for NYCHA: A federal program to spark creative thinking.”

Scheduling Note

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, The Beat will resume on Monday, November 26.

And in other news...

“The state’s highest court on Tuesday struck down as illegal a New York City edict to regulate pre-kindergarten programs operated by charter schools.”