NEW YORK -- For anyone who suspected Lynne Patton’s temporary residency in New York City public housing would come with a fair amount of hype and publicity, she did not disappoint.
Monday evening ended for New York and New Jersey’s regional federal housing administrator trying to Level Up inside a small, steamy room of the Patterson Houses Community Center in the Bronx.
We spoke with Patton on the way to aerobics class.
“We also need to change the culture of deception here at NYCHA,” Patton said.
Patton is staying here, she says on an air mattress, with a tenant family for a week, and then plans to rotate to other public housing developments in the city over the next month.
It’s Patton’s attempt – her words, to “bring much needed repairs and attention to the conditions on the ground.
Reaction to her arrival - from neighbors – NYCHA's long-suffering tenants is mixed.
One tenant told PIX11, “I think it’s an opportunity for people – especially someone close to the administration to really see what we’re dealing with.”
“This is not gonna help. I don’t know, to tell you the truth. I just want out of here” said another tenant named Lola.
Patton has been extremely vocal in her criticism of how Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has managed public housing…and even more so since the Mayor was all but forced to recently submit NYCHA to a federal monitoring agreement with HUD Secretary Carson.
“I commend Lynne Patton for using the power of her office to shine a harsh spotlight on the suffering of public housing residents. The residents here in Patterson houses, and elsewhere in the city, have gone long stretches of time without heat a hot water,” said Bronx City Councilman Ritchie Torres.
When asked how she would respond to residents who say here stay in public housing amounts to a publicity stunt, Patton said, “To them, with all do respect, I really don’t care what they think. The residents know why I’m here. I know why I’m here. We’re here to effectuate real change – finally.”