(Christopher Robbins) Hundreds of public housing units have laid vacant for years, while the city loses $1.4 million annually in rent and 220,000 people languish on waiting lists. According to an internal NYCHA audit obtained by the Times, 2,300 units of NYCHA's total 178,914 units are vacant because of turnover or relocation, while nearly 800 sit empty because they need renovations—more than 300 of those apartments have been uninhabited for an average of seven years.
NYCHA has more than $6 billion in unfunded capital improvements, which are expected to balloon to more than $13 billion in five years [PDF]. While the Bloomberg administration kicked it an additional $58 million in its last budget to prevent closures of senior centers, a deficit of $205.5 million remains. Lawmakers have demanded a thorough audit of the organization, which has made plenty of questionable financial decisions in the past, before they lobby for more federal aid (which isn't likely to turn up anyway). A plan to allow developers to build luxury units on NYCHA property in order to raise $500 million in revenue was scrapped in August.
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