HUD hon­cho moves into Bronx com­plex


Lynne Pat­ton, the re­gional ad­min­is­tra­tor for the Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment, ar­rives at Pat­ter­son Houses in Mott Haven on Mon­day.

New York City’s newest pub­lic hous­ing res­i­dent moved into a Bronx apart­ment Mon­day with an in­flat­able mat­tress, sim­ple Sam­sonite lug­gage and a gi­ant po­lit­i­cal spot­light.

Lynne Pat­ton, the re­gional ad­min­is­tra­tor for the U.S. Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment, kicked off her four-week NYCHA stay with a fed­er­ally funded pizza party in the three-bed­room apart­ment of Gla­dys Sanchez, who is host­ing Pat­ton for the first week of her stay at the Pat­ter­son Houses in Mott Haven.

Pat­ton said she wants a first­hand look at the prob­lems that have plagued the na­tion’s largest pub­lic hous­ing sys­tem, and wants to hear from res­i­dents about how to fix the bro­ken boil­ers, leaky pipes and moldy walls that have be­come so bad that a new fed­eral mon­i­tor is poised to step in.

“The goal of this move in is to make NYCHA very aware of what is hap­pen­ing,” she said. “To make the mon­i­tor very aware of what is hap­pen­ing. To make my boss, the sec­re­tary, very aware of what is hap­pen­ing. To make the Pres­i­dent of the United States very aware of what is hap­pen­ing here in his own home­town. He might be Pres­i­dent, but he’s a New Yorker first.”

Pat­ton, fresh from a meet­ing with HUD Sec­re­tary Ben Car­son, ar­rived in the Bronx shortly be­fore the sun went down. She brought her own in­flat­able mat­tress, which will be set up in Sanchez’ liv­ing room, as well as her own por­ta­ble charg­ers, tow­els and clothes.

“I want to go un­in­ter­rupted in their daily lives,” Pat­ton said.

Sanchez, 39, lives with her dis­abled aunt, Inez Valentin, and her three chil­dren, An­war Martinez, Luis Gar­cia and An­gelina Per­domo. She said there are lots of leaks in her home, a con­di­tion that could lead to dan­ger­ous mold.

“I was hon­ored to be asked,” Sanchez said of her host­ing du­ties. “I feel that it’ll make a dif­fer­ence, her com­ing in to ac­tu­ally live in the apart­ment with me and get to ex­pe­ri­ence for her­self what I go through on a daily ba­sis, and for her to be able to hear what my con­cerns are. It just makes me feel like fi­nally some­body is hear­ing my voice.

“I hope that she learns that we’re peo­ple just like ev­ery­body else,” Sanchez added. “Be­cause we live in pub­lic hous­ing, that doesn’t mean that we don’t de­serve the same rights as ev­ery­body else. We pay rent ac­cord­ing to our in­comes. We still de­serve to have our build­ings clean every day.”

Pat­ton sug­gested that NYCHA had be­gun spruc­ing up the com­plex in ad­vance of her ar­rival. The ad­min­is­tra­tor, who is shar­ing high­lights of her stay on a Face­book page, posted be­fore-and-af­ter pictures of a hall­way floor she said was re­cently re­paired.

“Sadly, every time I visit a NYCHA build­ing, the trash is picked up, the lob­bies are clean, the el­e­va­tors are work­ing,” Pat­ton said. “This is some­thing that should be hap­pen­ing every day.”

A NYCHA rep­re­sen­ta­tive said build­ing staff had not been in­structed to change their nor­mal rou­tine.

Pat­ton said she wel­comed im­prove­ments un­der any


“If I can even, just tem­po­rar­ily, bring im­me­di­ate re­pairs and im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion to four different prop­er­ties and four different fam­i­lies needs, then sadly that’s a step in the right di­rec­tion,” Pat­ton said. “The real change will come when I give my find­ings, both to the mon­i­tor and the chair­per­son. Res­i­dents have wasted enough time. They need change and they need im­prove­ments now. I’m hop­ing that by be­ing here, at the very least, it sends a sense of ur­gency.”

Pat­ton’s stay, which was de­layed by the 35-day fed­eral gov­ern­ment shut­down, comes nearly two week af­ter the city and HUD reached an agree­ment to have a Wash­ing­ton­ap­pointed mon­i­tor call the shots at NYCHA.

In the mean­time, Mayor de Bla­sio has ap­pointed as NYCHA’s in­terim Chair­woman Kathryn Gar­cia, the san­i­ta­tion com­mis­sioner, who toured the Vladeck Houses on Man­hat­tan’s Lower East Side.

Af­ter Pat­ton set­tled in, she worked off the pizza with res­i­dents at an aer­o­bics class of­fered at the de­vel­op­ment.

U.S. Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Re­gional Ad­min­is­tra­tor Lynne Pat­ton (r.), who over­sees New York and New Jer­sey pub­lic hous­ing, ar­rives at Pat­ter­son Houses in the Bronx on Mon­day. Pat­ton will be stay­ing with the Sanchez fam­ily till Fri­day dur­ing her four-week, info-gath­er­ing NYCHA visit.

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