According to a NY Times article today, the New York City Housing Authority has secured $305 million in aid, mostly from the federal government. The money goes to 21 developments that previously had no funding allocated specifically to them. Up until now, the housing authority had been diverting money from other developments to cover the costs for these 21 developments, contributing to its current deficit.
But in order to receive the money through what the article mentions as "an obscure provision in Congress's economic stimulus package," the 21 complexes had to be sold to a "limited partnership of the housing authority and Citigroup's community development arm."
"The authority will continue to manage the developments and own the land they sit on, and part of the money they receive will come through the New York City Housing Development Corporation's sale of bonds. The housing authority said the mixed public and private partnership was the only way to obtain the financing. The ownership transfer, which was closing this past weekend, would not affect the public housing status of the complexes, officials said, or make them vulnerable to privatization."
The increase in funding must surely be a relief to the New York City Housing Authority. Now if only homeless families had easier access to public housing in NYC...
In other, less optimistic news, budget cuts for social services around the city are generating serious concerns among service providers and recipients. In regards to Governor Paterson's proposed cuts to the adult shelter system, service providers are especially worried about the devastation that could ensue.
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Advocates are sweating the real possibility that close to 25 percent of the financing for shelters for single adults will be cut - which, they say, could flood the streets with homeless people or "transform service-providing shelters into people warehouses," as Mark Hurwitz of Project Renewal, which provides services to the homeless, put it.