NYCHA Agrees to Pay $2.2 Billion over 10 Years in Consent Decree

A complaint published by the office of the Attorney General of Southern New York on NYCHA citing extreme health and safety violations and the mismanagement and lies that were used by NYCHA officials to cover it up, has prompted Mayor De Blasio to sign a consent decree, committing at least $2.2 billion for repairs. By signing the decree, the City avoids going to trial following the three-year investigation that revealed top housing authority officials put residents in harm’s way, and orchestrated a cover-up that involved lying to federal officials for years and devising a “how-to” guide for deceiving inspectors. Urgent repairs such as broken elevators trapping seniors and the disabled, lead poisoning of children due to crumbling lead paint in their apartments, and unchecked mold growth at many developments were some of the major health and safety failures highlighted in the report. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, while declining to bring criminal charges against NYCHA left open the possibility of charges against individuals by saying

 

“When an entity like NYCHA enters into a consent decree like this, it is inconsistent to bring a criminal charge. The object is to reform NYCHA, not to bring a criminal charge against NYCHA, but … we have complete flexibility with respect to criminal investigation charges for individuals.”

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