Audit: New York City Housing Authority missed out on nearly $700M in federal funding

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(PIX11) — Candace Ford is happy to show you the things in her New York City Housing Authority apartment that need repairs: mold growing around her bathroom pipes, the radiator in her bedroom that could use a fresh coat of paint.

So when Ford saw City Comptroller Scott Stringer and other NYCHA tenants holding a press conference outside her building Wednesday because NYCHA dropped the ball on almost $700 million in funding, she said she had a pretty good idea about the way the Housing Authority feels about its residents.

"We're tenants of New York City Housing,"Ford said.  "They don't care."

The audit says NYCHA missed $353 million in energy incentives, $263.1 million in Section 8 funding and $75.9 in transition funding since 2006. The grand total? $692 million of federal funding left on the table.

"We can look at buckets of funding that other cities seem to be able to access and we do not have a structure in place within the NYCHA organization to get that money,"said Comptroller Scott Stringer. "That is what the issue is today,"

A spokesperson for NYCHA said the audit is seriously flawed because the numbers used would have only been possible with an ambitious proposal from the Housing Authority that the Department of Housing and Urban Development rejected. The audit also fails to mention $1.6 billion dollars in funding the agency secured over the same time period.

"The audit has no findings related to current business practices and finances and uses outdated facts and alarmist, unrealistic figures, instead of setting out constructive ways public housing can be preserved and maintained for generations to come," said Housing Authority spokesperson Joan Lebow.

But to Ford, it doesn't matter how much funding NYCHA has or hasn't secured when she looks at the repairs needed in her apartment. Which is why she thinks there's only one way NYCHA will ever get around to fixing it.

"They need somebody else at the top who knows what they're doing," Ford said.