The City Hall plot to prevent a federal takeover of NYCHA

The City Hall plot to prevent a federal takeover of NYCHA

City Hall is quietly orchestrating a campaign to pressure a federal judge not to place the Housing Authority under federal receivership — warning that would result in “pushing longtime tenants out of their homes.”

“Under President Trump — who attempted to zero out the budget for public housing — direct federal control would be disastrous. HUD needs to know we are not going to stand for this,” say talking points distributed by the city to members of the City Council last week.

“What should give us all real pause is when HUD has intervened directly in managing public housing through administrative receivership and other tools, neglect quickly turns to displacement and demolition. HUD has favored replacing brick-and-mortar public housing with rental vouchers for the private market, pushing longtime tenants out of their homes—and then their neighborhoods.”

The notes included references to to three housing authorities in Illinois — in Chicago, East St. Louis and Cairo — that were placed under receivership managed and were either radically downsized or have continued to struggle.

The talking points are intended to head off a possible ruling by Federal Judge William Pauley ordering the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to take over NYCHA.

On Friday, the city is scheduled to file papers with Pauley describing its latest plan for fixing NYCHA, after he rejected a previous settlement with federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

A spokeswoman for de Blasio declined to comment.

The talking points were initially circulated last week among a small group of legislators. They include links to tweets from two Councilmembers — Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn) and Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) — as examples of the kind of messaging City Hall wanted.

“[Donald Trump] tried to zero out the budget for public housing — think of what he’d do if he actually had control over [NYCHA]! Receivership would be the beginning of the end,” tweeted Reynoso.

Rosenthal wrote: “Receivership spells loss.”

Neither were immediately available to comment.

The settlement Pauley rejected would have put NYCHA under a federal monitor and injected $2.2 billion in new money.

He said that agreement was insufficient to tackle the agency’s massive challenges. On Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio released a much more comprehensive plan to inject $24 billion over 10 years.

NYCHA revealed this summer that its repair bill had ballooned to $32 billion over the next five years.

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