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NYCHA Head Admits Problems, Plans to Overhaul Board

Two reports, one internal and the other external, highlight the problems within the agency.

The New York City Housing Authority’s boss admits that the agency is troubled, and vows to replace its high-paid board members with a new all-volunteer board, says the New York Daily News.

NYCHA head John Rhea admitted to the paper for the first time that the agency has a backlog of 338,000 maintenance orders, and that they won’t get to some of them for two years.

“We learned at the end of the day that NYCHA needs to look at all of its operations, from top to bottom,” Rhea told the paper on Thursday. “In almost every level of the NYCHA, there’s .”

Four new unsalaried members would replace board members Margarita Lopez and Emily Youssouf—. Two of the new board members will be residents of NYCHA housing. Currently, only one part-time board member is a NYCHA resident, and represents the 400,000 people living in 334 projects.

The NYCHA released a 20-page report announcing plans to improve conditions for its residents. The agency now vows to commit all capital funds to specific projects within 18 months (and spending the money within three years), reducing the volume of open requests for repairs, cutting repair response time, upgrading security at 85 developments and modernizing the application process.

A 112-page report by Boston Consulting Group found many instances where money was being misspent within the agency, like a $5 million storage unit that held only $10 million worth of inventory, an expensive and unused software package and empty office space. The report also found that the agency could eliminate two levels of management bureaucracy.

“The report does point out a number of things where we can do better,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged Thursday. “I think that’s true of probably everything.

According to the Daily News, the NYCHA plans to appoint a general manager, a chief financial officer and a chief procurement officer to help solve some of the problems highlighted in the report.

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