HUD Secretary Ben Carson visits first NYCHA building

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens— Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development visited the Queensbridge Houses Tuesday morning, his first visit to any NYCHA building since giving a federal deadline for an 'acceptable' plan for public housing repairs to be presented by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The HUD secretary viewed boilers, roofs, apartments, and talked to families who reside at the Queensbridge Houses, HUD said.

After his visit, Secretary Carson met with Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Representatives Gregory Meeks,  Nydia Velazquez, and Carolyn Maloney to  discuss the mayor's plan to tackle the $24 billion worth of urgent repairs at the nation's biggest public housing system by the Jan. 31 deadline.

The meeting lasted about an hour and focused on how the public officials can work together to bring relief to the residents of NYCHA, HUD said in a release.

"Everyone in the meeting agreed that all levels of government need to work in concert to fix the issues that resulted from decades of neglect. The Secretary is looking forward to continue working with all parties to ensure New Yorkers have access to safe, sanitary, and decent housing." HUD stated.

Carson says a commission will be appointed to help find solutions for the numerous problems plaguing the buildings.

The mayor is expected to have a phone conversation with Carson once a week with updates in the progress, sources tell PIX11 news.

Authorities say swat teams are also anticipated to go into certain NYCHA developments, and 'fix' things, sources said.

Late Friday, the mayor issued a statement saying the city is working with the federal government toward a plan "to improve the quality of life for the 400,000 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home," referring to the New York City Housing Authority.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reiterated in a release Tuesday that "NYCHA and New York City have until January 31 to produce a bold plan of action acceptable to Federal officials that remediates NYCHA’s longstanding issues with management, including lead, mold, heat, elevators, and vermin.  Any plan produced by NYCHA is also expected to meet the 10 objectives that HUD outlined on Friday."

 

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