We’ve all heard crazy stories about people cheating the system. Maybe they live in our community, went to the same school, or worked alongside us at the same office. In most cases, these individuals likely coasted by – while keeping a low profile – without facing any repercussions. In New York City, however, those taking advantage of the system are doing so out in the open and the New York Post is making sure the city’s housing authority knows about it.
According to a recent story in the New York Post, public-housing residents across the city are renting their rooms to strangers to supplement their incomes. As part of an investigation, the Post found that several ads for weekly or monthly sublets had been posted to Craiglist the week leading up to Christmas by residents living in public-housing. The ads, which included spaces such as a $650 room in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay Houses and $500 room in the Martin Luther King Jr. Towers in Harlem, often included photos and one even included a New York City Housing Authority address in its listing.
According to the Post, only residents authorized by the agency may live in the apartments. Tenants who violate the rules are given an administrative hearing or taken to housing court. In all, there are 160,000 families on the housing authority’s waiting list and at least 55,000 tenants are living in units larger than they are entitled to, according to the agency chair. Additionally, more than 25,000 single residents are living in two-bedroom units which require at least three tenants under federal rules. When questioned by the Post about the legality of these rentals, one resident stated that there are plenty of people who rent rooms and that because he pays his rent, he can do whatever he wants.
How do you feel what is going on in NYC? Should these residents be fined, jailed or both?