John Ballinger is a Vietnam vet, a grandfather, a former inspector inside the New York City Housing Authority decades ago.
“ I have nothing to lose. I just care about the kids,” said Ballinger.
Ballinger says he was on the front lines of major contracts between NYCHA and independent contractors, supposed to be doing work, like replacing boilers, replacing roofs, and abatement of lead mold and asbestos.
Ballinger says he’s extra concerned about lead. “Unless they went in and tested every apartment since I left. I doubt they have the money to do that,” said Ballinger.
Nathaniel Parris was a former NYCHA regional manager in charge of the city’s boilers for 40 years, a regional asset manager in charge of the maintenance of a dozen developments in Manhattan and the Bronx.
“I felt it was my duty to come out and speak,” said Parris who is now suing the city for alleged retaliation.
Parris watched our stories for months, restoring heat and hot water to 55 buildings across the city this past winter. He says he tried to warn supervisors at NYCHA for years about the bad conditions of boilers.
Parris says not only did they not want to hear it, he alleges they cut his budget and retaliated against him.
“We fix this with proper management and clear direction,” said Parris.
A spokesperson for the New York city Housing Authority tells us, “We encourage all NYCHA employees to share their concerns or potential issues so we can better provide for our residents."
“I say to all these NYCHA employees who see something they should say something,” said Marcel Florestal, Parris’ lawyer.
NYCHA tenants who are leaders of Metro Industrial Areas Foundation and New York City Councilmembers launched an inspection tour of NYCHA properties citywide to highlight dangerous conditions in homes and apartment buildings inside public housing.
The tour, concluded with a rally at City Hall on May 15th. “The Mayor can turn this around. We need a billion dollars,” said City Councilmember Rafael Salamanca from the Bronx.
“No one will accept this budget. We won’t as the City Council. I know families of NYCHA won’t,” said City Councilmember Jumaane Williams.
The City Council’s budget response calls for the City to allocate billions toward NYCHA improvements and reform. Funding for those improvements include:
- $950 million for boiler repairs and heating equipment technology
- $500 million to begin construction of 15,000 new affordable apartments for seniors on NYCHA land
- $1 billion annually to address ongoing capital needs.
Tour to come:
- Monday, May 21st at 11am: Butler Houses with CM Vanessa Gibson
Previous stops on the tour have included Breukelen Houses on May 4th with CM Inez Barron, Hope Garden on May 10th with CM Antonio Reynoso, and Howard Houses on May 12th with CM Alicka Ampry-Samuel.
Comptroller Scott stringer is the Watchdog to our city’s money and says there needs to be an overhaul of the New York City housing authority.
“It’s actually worse than you think. At the end of the day they need an infusion of money and strong management,” said Stringer.
Stringer has launched nine audits of NYCHA, he says the most of any comptroller.
The Comptroller has exposed dangerous playgrounds to close to a thousand vacant apartment inside NYCHA right now.
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