Bad Arithmetic: The Failure of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Recovery Funds to Create Jobs for Local Residents

Last year CVH members successfully pushed Congress to include $423 million in the national recovery package for NYCHA to make much needed repairs to public housing and provide job opportunities for residents. In order to save public housing developments and prevent the demolitions that have happened in most other cities across the country, it is critical that these recovery-funded repairs happen; and with 30,000 NYCHA residents unemployed and looking for work, it is also critical that residents have access to job and training opportunities.CVH members put together a survey with the help of Chris Famighetti, a graduate student at the New School, to investigate how NYCHA residents were (or were not) benefiting from the $423 million in stimulus funds. We knocked on doors in eight developments across four boroughs and collected over 300 surveys.We found that much needed construction and repairs had not even started in most places, even when NYCHA had reported that it had. We also found that most NYCHA residents were unaware of federal regulations requiring contractors to hire residents when they receive money from HUD, and the vast majority had not seen or heard about job opportunities for the construction planned for their buildings. Out of over 3,200 jobs created with NYCHA recovery funds, only 214 went to residents. The report lays out recommendation for NYCHA to stregthen its compliance with federal regulations.

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