Residents at the Brevoort Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant faced 10 days without regular water service in July. Tenants, including seniors, were forced to fill up buckets of water from spigots and carry them up to their apartments.
Worst of all, NYCHA officials did not appear to be forthright with residents about the outage, adding to the long-developing mistrust among tenants.
This is just the latest in a scandal-plagued era for the housing authority, which has already been caught lying about lead paint inspections and failing to provide heat during the bitter cold winter season.
Elected officials were rightfully seething after hearing what longtime residents had to go through these last few weeks. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was disgusted by the conditions he saw, and went as far as to call NYCHA officials “professional liars.”
While outrage is necessary, now it’s their duty to hold NYCHA accountable for their actions.
It’s important to note that the federal and state government have long abandoned their investment in NYCHA, leaving the housing authority with $32 billion in capital needs.
A federal monitor will be put in place to oversee the badly managed authority, which has already fired its top two officials.
While this a step in the right direction to save public housing for 400,000 New Yorkers, everyone, especially those at the highest levels of government, have to prioritize the needs of NYCHA residents.
They can’t spend any more time breathing in toxic lead, freezing in the cold or suffering without consistent water.