A Trump administration official with a six-figure salary is planning to move from her Trump Tower condo into public housing.

A Trump administration official is planning to move from her Trump Tower condo into public housing in New York City to highlight inadequate conditions – even as the administration proposes deep cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Lynne Patton, the regional head of HUD in New York and New Jersey, announced the planned move to the Grant Houses in Harlem in late November and told the Washington Post that she was in her Trump Tower apartment watching the film “Crazy Rich Asians” when she read a NY Post headline highlighting NYCHA issues.

Lynne Patton. Courtesy: Getty Images

“It hit me like a ton of bricks that this is no longer okay,” Patton told the Washington Post. “It was not okay for me to preside over the largest housing crisis in the nation from the warmth and comfort of my own safe and sanitary apartment while NYCHA residents continue to suffer the most inhumane conditions.”

Patton was appointed to the $161,000 a year position in August, despite holding no experience in housing. Her background, according to a resume obtained by the Washington Post, was as an aide to the Trump family and an event planner. A condo at Trump Tower averages $1,741 per square foot, according to The New York Times.

The conditions in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartments have been notoriously substandard, as more and more tenants are calling to light issues surrounding lack of heat in the water, busted elevators and even lead paint hazards.

The Grant Houses, at which Patton plans to stay, had 4,500 residents go without heat and hot water over Thanksgiving. Just this past weekend, residents of NYCHA’s Patterson Houses lost water and used water from fire hydrants, according to a report from CBS, and Charlene Nimmons, the CEO of public housing advocacy group Public Housing Communities Inc. reported on Twitter that Wyckoff Gardens has no running water on Tuesday.

In June, a judge ordered NYCHA to fork over $2.2 billion to address lead issues and make capital improvements, after the department allegedly lied about the abhorrent living conditions.

Despite the acknowledgment of these issues from Patton, her boss, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, has floated the idea of asking tenants to make the repairs themselves.

The program, which was sharply criticized when it was first discussed, would take part of the monthly subsidy given to renters and put it in an escrow account associated with the unit. All of the routine maintenance associated with the unit would come out of that account, which would continue to grow, Carson said. If the individual leaves public assistance, the money would eventually be available for a down payment.

Patton’s action also comes after the Trump administration earlier this year proposed a budget that would cut HUD spending by nearly $9 million, including cuts to the Public Housing Capital Fund and the Public Housing Operating Fund. The administration has also proposed privatizing the management of public housing.

The U.S. Congress has yet to pass Trump’s proposed budget, however, and HUD, along with most U.S. Government offices have been funded by continuing resolution.

At press time, HUD had not responded to a request for comment on how much the move would cost, if additional security would be required at the Grant Houses and if Patton or HUD would be paying for the apartment. Inman will update if we her back.

Email Patrick Kearns

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
EXTENDED: Last call for the best price of the year on the best events in real estate.Register now×
Cyber Monday Sale - EXTENDED! Get 1 year of Inman Select for $75. Offer expires at midnight.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription