NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A hearing will be held Wednesday on whether an independent monitor should oversee the New York City Housing Authority.

Dozens of NYCHA tenants will testify about the squalid living conditions, like peeling lead paint, mold from water leaks, rusty pipes and holes in the floor.

“Why is it that we have to live like this?” one resident, Tabitha Rivera, asked CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer earlier this year.

In June, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announced the city agreed to spend more than $2 billion over the next decade to fix the problems facing about 400,000 NYCHA tenants.

“The old ways of doing business at NYCHA are over,” he said. “For too long, these residents have had to put up with conditions that are indecent, unsafe and unsanitary.”

The consent decree followed a two-year investigation, where federal prosecutors found health and safety violations at NYCHA developments, plus scathing findings about lying and cover-ups.

“The administration has been presenting the public with alternative facts about the level of lead exposure in public housing,” City Councilman Richie Torres, of the Bronx, told CBS2 last fall.

The city also agreed to bring in an independent monitor to make sure the past doesn’t repeat itself and the repairs get done. In order for this to happen, a judge needs to sign off on the deal, which is what Wednesday’s hearing is all about.

More than 100 residents and advocates are expected in court to share their NYCHA horror stories.


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