Max & Murphy: Council’s NYCHA Point-Person Says De Blasio Could do More

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City Councilmember Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, seen at a recent hearing.

William Alatriste/NYC Council

City Councilmember Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, seen at a recent hearing.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has pumped hundreds of millions of extra dollars into the city’s sprawling public housing system, ending the bizarre practice of charging the cash strapped New York City Housing Authority for police and sanitation services and committing new cash for overdue repairs.

But NYCHA’s fiscal needs are so drastic and its role in the city’s housing market so vital that Councilmember Ritchie Torres, who heads the committee on public housing, believes more has to be done.

In his words, that involves both more creativity with how they city’s resources are used (or how to use federal resources, like Section 8, to supplant lagging Section 9 funding for public housing). But it also requires an “outside game” to get Washington to pony up the money it owes the system.

The question that Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max and I ask in the podcast below is whether that’s a game that can be won given the other priorities that confront the mayor and Council, and the political environment in the nation’s capital.