NYCHA Can’t Account For Billions In Sandy Fed Money


The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has not accounted for some of the nearly $3 billion in federal funding that was earmarked for new boilers in Coney Island developments, KCP has learned.

The money stems from a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding allocated in 2015 to repair and protect 33 public housing developments that sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy.

Of the 33 developments, 10 of them were located in Brooklyn, and eight were specifically allocated for new permanent boilers in Coney Island NYCHA buildings. The developments slated for the new boiler systems with the $3 billion federal allocation include Carey Gardens, Gravesend, Coney Island, Coney Island Sites 1B, 4 and 5, Haber Houses, O’Dwyer Gardens, and Surfside Gardens.   

City Councilman Mark Treyger

At yesterday’s joint City Council hearing of the Public Housing, and Oversight and Investigations Committees, City Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) demanded answers from NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye over the missing boilers and the missing funds.

“Today is Feb. 6, 2018,  and do all of my Sandy-damaged NYCHA developments have permanent boilers functioning today?” Treyger asked Olatoye.

“No, they do not,” Olatoye replied.

Throughout her testimony at the meeting, Olatoye consistently pointed to a $3 billion loss in federal funding for capital improvements since 2001 as the main cause for the heating crisis.

However, Treyger pointed out the unaccounted FEMA money, and went on to criticize the authority’s lack of money management abilities, and not the recurrent capital budget deficit.

“It’s been over five years since Sandy and we have close to $3 billion, and we still have developments with temporary boilers where residents haven’t had consistent heat. So why should we have confidence in NYCHA to manage funds, when the record says different?” said Treyger.

“It’s not a money issue. It’s a mismanagement of money issue,” added Treyger.

As of today, only 1 of the 33 developments that needed work stemming from Superstorm Sandy has been repaired. Not one public housing development in Coney Island has seen a new permanent boiler.

Emails to the mayor’s office to inquire what became of the FEMA money and the repairs, were directed to the NYCHA press office. NYCHA did not return repeated emails of what happened to the money in time for publication.