State Senate May Ruin Push To Speed Up NYCHA Repairs

The Republican-controlled state Senate Wednesday put up a potential roadblock to a growing effort to speed up repairs at the city Housing Authority.

Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio both support a protocol called design-build that dramatically speeds up the time it takes to design and construct big public construction jobs.

But design-build requires legislative approval. On Tuesday the Assembly approved design-build for NYCHA and tossed in another $200 million in repair funds.

On Wednesday the Senate adopted a budget resolution that did not include authorization for NYCHA to use design build and offered no additional funding.

Instead, it called for the creation of an independent monitor to oversee projects at the authority and authorized the City Council to oversee operations at NYCHA.

The budget resolution states that the Senate remains “open to discussing methods to reduce these long wait times including — but not limited to — expanding the use of alternative project delivery methods” for NYCHA.

During the debate on the resolution, Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Catharine Young (R-Olean) said the issue of design-build would be addressed as negotiations with the Senate and Cuomo move forward.

NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye, emerging from a City Council budget hearing Wednesday, offered a terse response: “That’s too bad. We need design build.”

A spokeswoman for Mayor de Blasio said, “If the state Senate were really concerned about public housing, they would authorize design build for NYCHA immediately.”

Original Article