More than 1,500 households living in New York City Housing Authority apartments are earning six-figure salaries, according to an investigation by PIX11.
Housing reports obtained by the news outlet show one family making $1 million a year is paying only $1,574 in monthly rent for a three-bedroom apartment.
According to a report by the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the household’s annual income was $497,911 with an additional $790,534 in rental income between 2009 and 2013.
“If you’re making more than the mayor of New York City, you should not be living in public housing,” Councilman Ritchie Torres, chairman of the Public Housing Committee, told PIX11.
According to the NYCHA’s eligibility requirements, the highest income allowed is $129,800 per year for a 15-person household. The income limits are lower for families with fewer members, with a one-person household income limit set at $48,350 per year.
PIX11 found the housing authority is not looking to remove high-earners from their homes.
“We’ve encouraged, as has HUD, mixed-income communities," NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye said. "It’s a very small percentage."
A HUD spokesman says the agency does want tenants who make too much money evicted.
“This audit, like others, provides HUD an opportunity to re-evaluate policies and initiatives and make improvements where necessary,” HUD spokesman Jereon M. Brown said. “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.”
According to PIX11, the current waiting list for NYCHA apartments has 302,079 people on it; it was around 250,000 in 2014.
“We have a housing crisis in this city as evidenced by our wait list,” Olatoye said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed that a plan needs to be created to remove high-income earners from subsidized housing, reported PIX11.
“I think there are some situations where, yeah, families should, if they get to a strong financial place, move along,” de Blasio said.