A new report from the city comptroller's office says the city's public housing agency has let hundreds of apartments sit vacant, some for nearly a decade. NY1's Lori Chung filed the following report.

A report showing hundreds of New York City Housing Authority apartments sitting vacant for years, waiting on repairs, has the city comptroller's office asking why.

People NY1 spoke with at the Harlem River Houses say they already know.

"If you go to the fourth floor of any of these buildings, I'm sure that it's at least two apartments that are vacant, that have been vacant for years," said Essence Grant, a NYCHA resident.

A city audit found 312 NYCHA apartments taken off the rent rolls for major repairs stayed empty for an average of seven years. Eighty apartments were empty for at least a decade, including one at the Harlem River Houses vacant since 1994.

"This is at the same time that 270,000 people are on the waiting list to get a New York City public housing authority apartment," said City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Housing officials say the agency can't afford all the needed work, but Stringer says if the apartments were livable, they could bring money in.

"Through the time period that we studied, we estimate that NYCHA lost $8 million in rent," Stringer said.

Harlem River Housing tenants say it's hard enough getting repairs on occupied apartments.

"They have a lot of apartments that people are living in there and the walls got holes in it, bathroom holes in the wall," said tenant association president Michelle Grant.

"Painting, you can get painting. But deeper repairs? Not being done," said another resident.

In a statement, NYCHA says, "[NYCHA] has a record low vacancy rate of only 1 percent—the lowest it’s been in nearly 10 years," and that "managing and turning over our vacant apartments effectively and efficiently is vital to our operations."

According to the report, those vacant apartments have become a haven for squatters. Stringer calls it unacceptable, saying NYCHA has to better manage its housing stock.