NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Housing and Urban Development official Lynne Patton ran into a little hiccup in her second week living in the nightmare that is the New York public housing system.
“That’s just disgraceful,” Patton said.
Water damage, leading to mold concerns, peeling paint, and warped floors is a common sight in NYCHA buildings.
“There’s leaks in this building every day,” one tenant said.
“There’s a piece of cardboard behind it… NYCHA did it,” another NYCHA resident told Patton in a video shared on Facebook.
“HUD is not a law enforcement agency, but heads will roll for this,” Patton told reporters.
Week two on her NYCHA housing tour took Patton to the Douglass Houses in the Upper West Side, where she’s staying with tenant association president Carmen Quiñones who has lived there for 43 years.
“When you see these people in this type of pain, if you don’t have a heart, you won’t feel it,” Quiñones said.
Patton – a HUD regional administrator – has been keeping a video diary of what she sees as she uses an inflatable bed to stay with different NYCHA residents over the course of the month.
On Tuesday, Patton even got stuck in an elevator with reporters for about 10 minutes. This time though she says it wasn’t NYCHA’s fault.
“We unfortunately got stuck in the elevator. I do believe too many people might have been in the elevator,” the government employee said.
Late Tuesday afternoon, NYCHA found out the alarm switch was accidentally hit in the crowded elevator, causing it to stop.
Patton apologized to the FDNY, but as for everything else she’s seen…
“There is no excuse not to turn this around,” Patton declared.
To cap off the week, she’ll hold other meetings with NYCHA leadership and Douglass Houses maintenance staff. There will also be a resident town hall before Patton reports back to the federal monitor.
On Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio claimed the federal government needs to contribute more money to the city’s failed housing agency.