THE BRONX - The New York City Housing Authority is taking some heat from the city comptroller's office over its vacant apartments.

Comptroller Scott Stringer's most recent audit of the agency found that although NYCHA has a vacancy rate of 1 percent, the issue is how it manages those vacant units.

According to the audit, many of the apartments have been vacant anywhere from three to 10 years or more. It alleges that NYCHA missed out on nearly $8 million in rent revenue by letting the units lie dormant.

Despite the number of vacancies, more than 270,000 people sat on NYCHA's wait list.

"These are real apartments that could have been given to real New Yorkers who are in real need," Stringer says. "It's shameful, totally unacceptable that they've been empty for so long."

The comptroller's audit also found that the Bronx has the lowest number of vacancies in public housing throughout the city.

NYCHA commented on the audit, pointing out that its vacancy rate of 1 percent is the lowest it has been in 10 years. The agency blames insufficient resources for its inability to more swiftly fill vacant units, since they often need extensive repairs.