Hundreds of public housing units have laid vacant for years, while the city loses $1.4 million annually in rent and 220,000 people languish on waiting lists. According to an internal NYCHA audit obtained by the Times, 2,300 units of NYCHA's total 178,914 units are vacant because of turnover or relocation, while nearly 800 sit empty because they need renovations—more than 300 of those apartments have been uninhabited for an average of seven years.
NYCHA has more than $6 billion in unfunded capital improvements, which are expected to balloon to more than $13 billion in five years [PDF]. While the Bloomberg administration kicked it an additional $58 million in its last budget to prevent closures of senior centers, a deficit of $205.5 million remains. Lawmakers have demanded a thorough audit of the organization, which has made plenty of questionable financial decisions in the past, before they lobby for more federal aid (which isn't likely to turn up anyway). A plan to allow developers to build luxury units on NYCHA property in order to raise $500 million in revenue was scrapped in August.
Meanwhile, the Bloomberg administration is rushing to solidify more than $12 billion in real estate projects, many of which contain fat tax subsidies for private developers that number in the hundreds of millions of dollars, including the Domino Sugar Factory project, Hudson Yards, and Willets Point.
The Times reports that while the Hudson Yards tower and Sloan-Kettering/Hunter College projects ($1.2 billion and $1.7 billion ventures, respectively) can't be reversed, the fate of the Domino Sugar Factory, the soccer complex near Yankee Stadium, and the Willets Point megamall, are up in the air.
Still, the mayor needn't worry about his "Legacy" with respect to transforming the city's landscape:
Many projects are rooted in the early days of Mr. Bloomberg’s 12-year tenure and were steered by his first deputy mayor and chief development architect, Daniel L. Doctoroff. More than once, Mr. Bloomberg has said that Mr. Doctoroff, and by extension himself, had a “greater impact on this city, I think, than Robert Moses.”