From the NY Times:
Public housing is falling apart around the country, as federal money has been unable to keep up with the repair needs of buildings more than half a century old.
Over the last 15 years, 150,000 of the nation’s public housing units have been lost, officials said, as agencies have sold or torn down decrepit properties. An additional 5,700 units are pending removal from federal public housing programs.
In New York City, which has a three-year backlog of repair requests, the effects can be seen in places like Aixa Torres’s apartment on the Lower East Side.
The paint chips were the first to be dislodged, drifting like snowflakes from her kitchen ceiling. When water began dripping through the ceiling, forming a hole sometime this spring, she called her landlord, the city’s public housing authority.
A maintenance worker showed up to take a look, and repairs were scheduled.
A plasterer would come to fix the hole in May 2011. A painter would come to cover up the plasterer’s work in May 2012.
The drip has yet to be fixed.
The situation is no better in Newark, which has shuttered 600 units that it cannot afford to fix. The city was given federal approval to raze 1,004 more, but it cannot pay for the demolition.
In Washington, the District of Columbia Housing Authority has floated bonds, among other measures, to put $140 million into fixing up its developments, but it is still $200 million short of what the authority says it needs for repairs.