Increases the membership of the New York City Housing Authority by adding 2 additional members; provides members shall serve at the pleasure of the mayor of the city of New York and the tenant members shall serve for terms of 3 years.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public housing law, in relation to the membership of the New York City Housing Authority
PURPOSE: Increases the membership of the New York City Housing Authority and alters the term limits and removal procedures governing such members to provide greater accountability.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1. Amends the public housing law to alter the membership of the New York Housing Authority by adding three new members one of whom shall be a resident of NYCHA housing, and amending the member removal procedure so that resident members shall serve fixed three year terms and all non-resident member shall be removable at the pleasure of the Mayor of New York City.
Section 2. Establishes the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: A recent series of events make it clear that the leadership of the New York City Housing Authority is operating in a manner where accountability and transparency are non-existent and secrecy and mismanagement are the norm. In 2011, the NYCHA Improving Customer Experience (NICE) program, and the $36 million Seibel computer system at the program's heart, led to a situation where the administration of the Section 8 housing program essentially ceased to function. There were widespread reports of missed payments, unexplained and unappealable inspection failures, mislaid and unprocessed documents, wrongful evictions, and a basic failure of communication. Although the mismanagement of the NICE system led to a series of highly critical news stories, a comprehensive negative report from the office of the Public Advocate and at least two class action lawsuits, NYCHA's leadership has never publicly acknowledged the problems, let alone addressed what is being done to fix them.
In the wake of NICE's failure, NYCHA has compounded the lack of trust in its administration by refusing to release the contents of a $10 million outside report on its programs and management paid for by taxpayer dollars. Shortly after a news story on its refusal to disclose the report, it came to light that NYCHA failed to install any of the $42 million worth of publicly funded surveillance cameras that were intended to protect its residents. These failures, as well as many other less publicized mistakes, and the complete lack of transparency or accountability in their aftermath unequivocally demonstrate the need for a systemic change in the way NYCHA is run. This bill will restructure the membership of NYCHA's board to provide new perspectives by adding three new members and foster accountability by making non-resident board members removable at the pleasure of the Mayor. While this legislation will not cure all of NYCHA's problems, it is a critical step towards increased transparency, responsibility and a
new direction for a troubled institution that is vitally important to the City of New York.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.7841
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of July next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 123 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. PERALTA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development AN ACT to amend the public housing law, in relation to the membership of the New York City Housing Authority THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 402 of the public housing law, as amended by chapter 531 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: 3.
[On and after May first, nineteen hundred fifty-eight, the]THE authority shall consist of [three]FIVE members appointed by the mayor, [one of whom]WHO SHALL SERVE AT HIS OR HER PLEASURE. ONE SUCH MEMBER shall be designated by the mayor as chairman removable at his OR HER pleasure. [The members other than the chairman first appointed for terms commencing on May first, nineteen hundred fifty-eight, shall be appointed for terms of three and five years, respectively. Thereafter the term of office of each member other than the chairman shall be five years.]The mayor shall file with the commissioner of housing a certif- icate of appointment of the chairman and of each member. [Any member other than the chairman may be removed by the mayor for cause after a public hearing. On and after July first in the year next succeeding the year in which this sentence shall take effect, the]THE authority shall consist of [one]TWO additional [member]MEMBERS who shall be appointed by the mayor [and shall be removable at his or her pleasure]FOR TERMS OF THREE YEARS; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT OF THE TENANT MEMBERS FIRST APPOINTED TO A TERM OF OFFICE, ONE MEMBER SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR A TERM OF TWO YEARS AND THE OTHER MEMBER SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR A TERM OF THREE YEARS. Such additional [member]MEMBERS must be eighteen years of age or older and be the tenant of record or an authorized member of the tenantEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00310-01-3 S. 123 2
household, in good standing, residing in one of the three hundred thir- ty-five federal projects owned or operated by the authority. A vacancy in the office of a
[member other than the chairman or the additional]tenant member occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled for the unexpired term; provided, however, that a vacancy in the seat held by [the additional]A tenant member shall be filled by the mayor within thirty days of such vacancy. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of July next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.