News that the DeBlasio Administration has come up with a new way to pretend that they are trying to turn NYCHA into a habitable community by making it eligible for charitable contributions, defies belief.
Calling the latest make-believe approach ‘The Fund for Public Housing’, the nation’s largest housing authority in charge of 328 developments and 600,000 residents has been so badly mismanaged that it has $17 billion in capital needs and operating deficits of tens of millions annually.
It is the nation’s largest slum. Both the NY State Comptroller and NY City Comptroller have audits which reveal lying about repairs and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.
And this is the non-profit tax exempt charity that the Mayor offers to philanthropic contributors? Why would any individual or corporation contribute a single dollar to NYCHA when the level of performance is so horrific? How would anyone know which pocket they have just lined?
Some years ago one of New York’s most charitable couples who had been very generous to New York City Schools then under the philanthropic care of Caroline Kennedy, told one and all that they would never give another dollar to the city’s schools because they could see absolutely no evidence of what their money did or where it went.
“If they want new windows in an old school, we will help because we will then see new windows. Otherwise not a dime.”
Shola Olatoye, Chairman of NYCHA and its most successful front-person in years, claims that she wants some famously successful people who grew up in public housing to give money to it now. She and the executive in charge of the Fund want money to improve the lives of residents by updating buildings in chronic disrepair, advancing job and career opportunities for residents.
The fact that billions of public dollars have been poured into NYCHA over the years with only scant results doesn’t seem to phase these executives who make believe that the obvious graft and corruption revealed by city and state audits clearly doesn’t matter to official New York, so why should it matter to contributors. After all if the NYCHA administration can continue to line pockets with tax money why not philanthropic money too. But they’d better be careful. While Deutsche Bank can afford a quick $100,000 to make City Hall happy – it never hurts to pay to play – just business folks – individual contributors might wise up and wise up fast.
No matter – if it’s NYCHA it’s business – bad business – as usual.
You might fool some rich folks Shola, but you’ll never fool those residents.