NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye says she only talks to Mayor de Blasio every couple of months. But recently they’ve had more contact. Once was when she indicated she’d be willing to resign after the lead-paint inspections controversy erupted. Another call came earlier this week after her five hours of testimony in front of the City Council. He said she’d done a good job, Olatoye recalls, and then said, “Let’s get back to work.”
Appearing on Max & Murphy, Olatoye addressed the question of whether NYCHA must rebuild trust, how she feels about calls for her to leave and whether NYCHA needs a more transformative plan to survive.
She said she’d welcome a federal monitor to help cut through what she says are antiquated rules the agency now has to follow. Olatoye also said that while Washington was primarily responsible for public housing, New York City had to decide what commitment it is willing to make to NYCHA.
“I think it’s a time for our city to say, ‘One in 14 New Yorkers live or rely on NYCHA for some form of housing. We have 60,000 people in the homeless shelters. Like, what are we doing? Is this a sustainable model going forward? What are we prepared to both give up and also commit to ensure people have safe and clean housing.’ I think that’s an important conversation,” she said.
“I would like to say that this could hopefully spark a conversation across New York about what kind of city we want to be,” she added. Listen below.