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Federal Housing Official Moves Into NYCHA Building In The Bronx

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A federal housing official is moving into New York City public housing Monday.

Lynne Patton, regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will spend a month in New York City Housing Authority apartments – one week each with a different volunteer family.

DAY ONE - PATTERSON HOUSES (BRONX) Today I am moving into New York City Public Housing (NYCHA) for a period of one...

Posted by Archive: Lynne Patton - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday, February 11, 2019

She plans to post her daily experiences, photos and videos on her Facebook page.

MORE: NYC, Feds Reach Agreement To Overhaul Struggling NYCHA

For her first week, she'll be in the Patterson Houses in the Bronx.

With her bags in tow, it was move-in day for Patton. She greeted her host family. She'll be living with them for the next five days.

"I look forward to spending time with the family so that I can learn what everyday life is," Patton said. "To make my boss, the secretary, very aware of what is happening. To make the president of the United States aware of what's happening in his own town."

Just hours earlier, Patton met with Secretary Ben Carson in Washington, D.C. as officials work to turn NYCHA around quickly, with a new federal monitor and NYCHA chairperson appointed soon.

"We are moving very quick, because residents have wasted enough time," Patton said. "I'm hoping by being here, at the very least, it sends a message of urgency."

Patton will stay with three other families at three different complexes across the city throughout February, buying them groceries and bringing her own air mattress, towel and portable chargers. But she'll only be staying during weekdays. On weekends, she'll be staying at her own Trump Tower residence in Manhattan.

CBS2's Reena Roy asked her why she isn't moving in full time.

"Why aren't you staying on weekends? A lot of people are wondering why you're taking breaks between the complexes throughout the month," Roy asked.

"Well, twofold. One, don't want to be a burden for too long, and number two, my boyfriend and dog would be in great distress," Patton said.

Meantime, residents who've been plagued by problems for years have no escape of their own.

"No water, no heat," said NYCHA resident Mona Lisa Garbutt. "I call every day, no one has come, done anything."

Gladys Sanchez, who's hosting Patton this week, is hoping her stay will spur true change.

"I hope she learns that, you know, we are people just like everybody else. Just because we live in public housing, that doesn't mean we don't deserve rights like everybody else," Sanchez said.

Her neighbors are praying for the same.

"Do you think her coming here will actually make a difference in daily life for residents?" Roy asked NYCHA resident Joanna Sosa.

"The more they shine a light on it, yes," Sosa said.

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