- The Washington Times - Friday, November 27, 2015

As New York City residents scour high and low for affordable living, an investigation has revealed that over 1,500 households are currently benefiting from public housing despite pulling in six-figure salaries.

Journalists working for PIX11 News in the Big Apple reported this week that an alarming number of families with substantial incomes are nevertheless residing in New York City Housing Authority apartments that are normally reserved for the less financially fortune.

The NYCHA is supposed to offer affordable apartments to New Yorkers earning only low or moderate annual incomes, but the station revealed that many families making more than $100,000 annually — and some close to earning a million dollars a year — are paying next-to-nothing for rent, in terms of NYC prices, at least.

One household benefiting from the NYCHA is paying only $1,574 a month for a three-bedroom apartment while earning nearly a million dollars a year, PIX11 reported after reviewing a recent report released by by the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

“If you’re making more than the mayor of New York City, you should not be living in public housing,” Councilman Ritchie Torres, the chair of the city’s Public Housing Committee, told the station.

“I think there are some situations where, yeah, families should, if they get to a strong financial place, move along,” agreed Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Referencing the more than 300,00 applicants awaiting NYCHA-controlled apartments, NYCHA chairwoman Shola Olatoye told PIX11 that the city is in the midst of a “housing crisis.”

Nevertheless, the network reported, HUD has hardly suggested so far that the more well-off renters should relocate elsewhere. All that could soon change, however, if the agency considers adjustments in teh wake of the report’s release.

“This audit, like others, provides HUD an opportunity to re-evaluate policies and initiatives and make improvements where necessary,” HUD spokesman Jereon M. Brown told the station. “As a result, HUD is taking additional steps to encourage housing authorities to establish policies that will reduce the number of over-income families in public housing.”

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