Governor Cuomo: No state budget unless NYCHA improvements approved

THE BRONX, New York City (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo is threatening to not sign the state budget unless the legislature authorizes repairs for New York City public housing buildings.

The New York City Housing Authority is funded and operated by the federal government and the city, but Cuomo has pledged $550 million in state aid only if an outside contractor is hired to make improvements.

"If this budget does not have a solution for the NYCHA tenants, I won't sign the budget," he said.

Cuomo made the announcement after touring an apartment in the Forest Houses in the Bronx, the second visit to a NYCHA complex in less than a week.

He stopped by an apartment occupied by an elderly woman who suffered a stroke, with her son showing Cuomo walls that are crumbling, damage that has been painted over, a gas stove that is not working, and cooking that has to be done by a hot plate. There's also roach infestation.

Cuomo accused NYCHA of mismanagement, but he stopped short of saying he's seeking control.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has criticized the tours as photo ops, and City Hall spokesperson Olivia Lapeyrolerie released the following statement:

"We understand the Governor's obsession with the Mayor has prevented him from learning how NYCHA funding works, but the truth is NYCHA is spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year to fill the hole left by state and federal underinvestment. Instead of lying about the facts to feed his political obsession, the Governor should give NYCHA tenants the money he has promised and refuses to deliver."

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