Lynne Patton moved into the first of four public housing properties on Monday. She is the Region II Regional Administrator, overseeing New York and New Jersey.
Her mission is to monitor firsthand the issues plaguing public housing in New York City. She says the government gives NYCHA $30 million each week to keep things up and running, and she wants to know what's going on.
"I am furious and that's why I decided to move in because every time I come to NYCHA it's fixed up, the elevators work, the trash is removed," Patton said.
There have been high-profile issues with heat, lead paint, leaks, mold, mildew, a lack of repairs and appliances that just don't work, and many tenants are fed up and hope her visit leads to change.
She is living in four different NYCHA properties for four weeks to see, smell and experience what the tenants do. Some residents say despite paying their rent on time, nothing happens when they file a complaint.
"It's the plumbing, the elevators are constantly out, the water, the heat, trash compactors, scaffolding has been out there for over two years, we don't even know why it's out there, there's no work being done on that," said Judith Maldonado, the daughter of a NYCHA tenant.
Community advocates are aware Patton has come for two years and knows the drill. What they want is action.
"When are you going to start do something, when are we going to start seeing what you can do? You keep making these promises," Patterson Houses TA President Patricia Simpson said.
One contractor will come and say nothing can happen until a plumber or someone else comes, and the so-called ticket is closed out and nothing happens.
Residents hope someone, maybe even in Washington, is listening.
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