John B. Rhea
New York City Housing Authority
New York, NY 10007
Dear Mr. Rhea:
We join with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in demanding that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) immediately address the dire housing crisis impacting 3,000 plus families whose Section 8 vouchers were retracted without notice in December and submit to a full investigation by the NYCHA Office of the Inspector General who is responsible for investigating unethical conduct by NYCHA officers and employees. If NYCHA officers and employees issued Section 8 vouchers that they knew would be unfunded and/or that they knew would exceed the Housing Authorities maximum voucher cap, they should be held accountable.
Last month, approximately 3,000 high-needs families were informed that the Section 8 vouchers that they had been issued earlier in the year would be revoked due to what the Housing Authority called a “perfect storm” of budgets cuts and increased demand. Rather than an unforeseen, unfortunate turn of events, evidence points to deliberate, systemic inaction by the Housing Authority over a period lasting as long as nine months.
To date, there has been neither a full tally of the number of people affected by the voucher crisis nor any plan or solution from the Authority, despite the fact that they knew of this problem for months. NYCHA must take responsibility and be held accountable for these actions. We urge you to act immediately on behalf of these high-need, at-risk families.