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Public Housing Spotlight

Issue 70
Published on December 6, 2000

(Click Here for NYCHA "preliminary" Audit
by NYC Comptroller Alan Hevesi)

(Click Here for Directory of Issues)

Unbelievable II

Thank you, Kalman Finkel and the other two stooges. You've done us an unexpected and quite ironic favor.

As a result of the outrageous manner in which you trumped up charges against Frank Rogers, Spotty now has new sources in the Departments under the Development flag (Design, Construction, QCC, CAD).

As a result of the nearly transparent attempt to keep occupancy levels low in some projects (See Edgemere in Issue 69), we now have doubled our list of tenants and prospective tenants who will let us know what's happening on NYCHA's front lines.

Kalman, your untiring work in behalf of a corrupt group of real estate barons has earned you a Spot-thanks! Future issues of Spotty, not just this one, will owe much of their content solely to the manner in which you denigrate both employees and tenants. We only hope that we still owe you thanks when some honest prosecutor has you sitting across her/his table!

Here's a couple of Finkel generated stories:

In our last issue, we showed, by way of a NYCHA memo, that 427 apartments in the Edgemere Houses were vacant. As Edgemere contains only 1,395 apartments, that means that one out of every three apartments are sitting empty.

Does that mean that there is no demand for those apartments?


Since running that story, we've been contacted by many people who say that they have their families entered onto NYCHA waiting lists

for a long time, yet they were never offered any apartment at Edgemere.

Here's just one example:

My name is Latisha Rogers and I live with my mother in the Red Hook (West) Housing Projects. I applied for housing in 1993. I didn't get called for a interview until 1996. I went through the whole process and I understood that I was going to be called for a two-bedroom apartment within two years. But that was wrong. It has been four years and I am still waiting to be called. As I'm on a waiting list at Red Hook, I finally went to see the Manager of Red Hook. I spoke with her about the problem. She pulled my file and found that the last Housing Asst.(HA) had made mistakes with my file. The HA didn't file that I was working and had listed my priority wrong.
The Manager had me bring a yellow form to my boss and bring four pay stubs. That was two months ago. I've heard nothing as to my status with NYCHA.
NYCHA has not treated me fairly. And my two little boys (ages 6 and 7) should not have to be a victim of NYCHA's neglect. All I've asking for is help on the matter.
Thank you for just reading this.

Next up, we have some interesting figures from NYCHA's Development Division:

(Click Here to view Sites in Survey Phase document. The report is generated by Anthony Palermo, Asst. Director of Design.)

Note the vast difference in the figures for the "Budget" column and, directly next to it, the more recently compiled "Estimate" column.
(We here in Spot-land refer to the line separating the Budget from the Estimate as the "Oops Line." When you see the startling difference in many of the two large amounts of money, you just know that there's an Oops here!)

At first glance, you might think there's no big deal here. As construction/renovation projects progress, minor additions to the budget are not unheard of.

But this is different. Here you have disparities as large as Wyckoff Gardens Budget figure of $950,000 and the revised Estimate of $7,400,000. That's a six and a half $MILLION$ dollar difference.

How can that be?


As Paul Newman said as "Cool Hand Luke", "What we've got here is a failure to communicate." The Design Department takes it into its collective (including consulting architects from private firms) head that it will perform a renovation on some NYCHA edifice. Later, after much work has gone into the process and a budget is established, Design deigns to get suggestions from the very entity they intend to renovate. That's what causes the "Oops" line on the Survey.

In the far right Notes column you can often find some justification for the increase beyond budget. In this case, fully half of the Community Center's have responded with further suggestions, after they had finally been brought into the loop. If Design would have visited the Centers, they could have gone over any suggestions with the Community Center's staff and Design would have sped the process along.* Then you wouldn't need to have a Budget column that totals $17,250,000 right next to an Estimate column listing the total figure at $35,077,850. And the Estimate total failed to even consider over 5 Million dollars from the Budget column that had not been raised yet by anyone and so didn't get reflected in the total.

(*Okay, Field people, let's calm down that laughter. Suggesting that Design's engineers actually visit projects before drafting blueprints and letting contracts might be hilarious to those who know how things actually work in the Authority. But if we were to tell stories of how many times major mistakes can be traced back to a engineer in NYCHA's Design Dept. who, aside from taking a train from New Jersey and being dropped in Manhattan in the morning, hasn't visited a public housing site in years, we'd have little time left to keep an eye on Finkel.)

Be back with more, soon . . .

© MM Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
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Contact Jack Ballinger at nychaspotlight@netscape.net
for a Real Audio sound clip containing a
conversation wherein DOI Investigator
John Kilpatrick discusses how he learned
that 2 NYCHA execs attended
a Mafia connected contractor's funeral .

Contact Jack Ballinger at nychaspotlight@netscape.net
for a Real Audio sound clip containing
the (3 Meg) confession of Tony DiAlto.
Tony was a member of a group of
corrupt Contract Inspectors working at NYCHA.
Neither Tony nor the person he confessed to
sharing his bribes with (Richard Penesi)
were ever charged, let alone prosecuted, by DOI.

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