Embattled New York City Housing Authority chairman John Rhea resigned days before new Mayor Bill de Blasio was expected to replace him.

The New York Daily News reported his resignation on Dec. 30. Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Rhea in 2009.

In an open letter on his website, Rhea, a Detroit native and former managing director in the investment banking division of Barclays Capital, said "continued bold actions and fearlessness will be required to ensure NYCHA achieves its full potential."

A published report in 2012 accused the agency of sitting on $1 billion of federal cash earmarked for security and repairs.

Additionally, a Boston Consulting Group report that year cited "many deep challenges," including an aging housing stock, increasing maintenance demands and escalating capital investment needs.

According to the Citizens Budget Commission watchdog organization, the housing authority has an estimated operating deficit of $192 million for fiscal 2014. The city allocated $71 million to keep senior-citizen and community centers open, while NYCHA must fill the remaining $121 million gap.

New city comptroller Scott Stringer, who issued numerous reports critical of the authority when he was Manhattan borough president, promised a "top to bottom" forensic audit of NYCHA.

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