Mayor Bill de Blasio spent much of the week selling his new progressive proposals: An expansion and rebranding of public health services, two weeks paid vacation, free glasses for kids.

But in his sweeping State of the City address on Thursday, the mayor failed to mention at length one of the most serious issues facing his administration: the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

"The New York City Housing Authority has a plan to bring brand new everything to 175,000 NYCHA residents," the mayor said during his speech.

Beyond that, he didn't mention public housing.

So on Friday, when de Blasio was trying to sell his new proposals in two separate radio appearances, it was no surprise NYCHA came up. Both of those interviews, on WNYC and Hot 97, circled back to the housing authority, leaving de Blasio on the defensive.

"The housing authority was put through hell, and the people in it were put through hell, by decades of disinvestment," de Blasio said on Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning.

"The difference here: for over 30 years, NYCHA suffered massive disinvestment from the federal and state government," the mayor said on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. "It's not the same situation."

The city must come up with a plan to save scandal-plagued NYCHA by the end of the month. If not, the federal government could take over the housing authority.

On Friday, the mayor was slated to speak by phone with Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — the second conversation they have had since the federal government shut down last month.

Sources told NY1 the shutdown has not affected the pace of negotiations.

Knowing a deadline is looming, that's perhaps why the mayor had some serious praise for the secretary Friday morning.

"I want to give him credit," the mayor said on Hot 97. "I never knew the guy and I didn't know what to make of him going in. But he's been very responsive, he wants to find a way to work this out together, and I think he is flexible about the way we get there and trying to figure out a plan that works."

"Are you saying, Mayor de Blasio, that Donald Trump, the current president, made a good hire with Ben Carson at HUD?" one radio host asked de Blasio.

The mayor responded, "I am saying what I am experiencing."

City Hall did not tell NY1 much about what Carson and de Blasio discussed. A spokeswoman said the city looks forward to continuing the dialogue.


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