According to Insider, “An investigation from NY1 found that there were more than than 44,000 elevator outages in New York City public housing [NYCHA] buildings in 2018, averaging about 121 breakdowns a day.”
The elevator outages were said to last, on average, about 12 hours each.
The Insider states: There are a total of 2,351 NYCHA buildings. These buildings contain an aggregate of more than 3,200 elevators that make approximately 3.2 million trips daily. The annual budget to maintain NYCHA’s elevators is $74 million.
According to the New York Post, the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society filed a Freedom of Information Law request to obtain statistics regarding NYCHA.
The information obtained revealed the following troubling statistics about New York City’s housing projects:
- NYCHA has 174,000 apartments, out of which more than 150,000 went without heat or hot water for a period of time during last winter.
- 259 out of 326 of NYCHA’s developments went without heat and/or hot water between October 1, 2018, and May 31, 2018.
The New York Post states: “[NYCHA] is under a partial federal takeover because of city mismanagement, including a lead-paint debacle…NYCHA has until October 2024 to reduce heating outages to just 15 percent of apartments during the winter under the agreement City Hall signed with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.”
Earlier this week, a Manhattan federal judge decided that Mayor de Blasio will not be disjoined from a lawsuit concerning lead-paint poisoning of residents of New York City’s public housing. According to the New York Post: “Judge William Pauley ruled that de Blasio must face the suit alleging that NYCHA poisoned children through repeated failures to fix dangerous lead-paint conditions in its apartments- and then lied to federal regulators about required inspections.”
The New York Post also states that the other defendants in the lawsuit include: NYC’s deputy mayors, the former New York City Public Housing’s Chairwoman, who resigned in 2017 due to the lead-paint cover-up fiasco, and other city officials and ex-NYCHA employees.
According to a New York Times article published yesterday, New York City’s housing projects “has an estimated $32 billion in needed repairs.”
Federal prosecutors have reportedly assigned a court-appointed monitor for the New York City Housing Authority to oversee the management of the nation’s largest public housing system.
NYCHA has been plagued with repair issues for years. These issues, most notably the lead-paint conundrum, have endangered the health of NYCHA’s residents for many years.
To add insult to injury, a June 2018 New York Times article states: “Federal prosecutors…said [NYCHA], which houses at least 400,000 poor and working-class residents, covered up its [“systematic misconduct”], training its staff on how to mislead federal inspectors and presenting false reports to the government, and to the public, about its compliance with lead-paint regulations.”
In their legal complaint, federal prosecutors further assert that NYCHA’s operations “reflect management dysfunction and organizational failure.”
According to a New York Daily News article, the New York City Housing Authority erroneously sent 1,424 residents a letter threatening “termination of tenancy.” NYCHA officials have reportedly chalked-up the letters mistakenly sent to residents as being a “computer glitch.”
The letters, understandably, sent terror through residents who feared their housing was in jeopardy. One NYCHA tenant is quoted by the NY Daily News as saying: “The wording of the letter is so threatening. They should not do this. They don’t know how this emotionally kills a person. I did not sleep at all…My blood sugar was very high in the morning.”
To add insult to injury, the residents received the letter close to Election Day, and were unable to communicate with NYCHA’s management offices due to the offices being closed for the holiday.
Hopefully NYCHA is taking steps to right their wrong. Hopefully, those steps will exceed a pat apology.
According to the New York Daily News, a bill that would allow NYCHA residents with mobility disabilities to move into available accessible apartments is currently under review by Governor Cuomo.
The legislation will reportedly provide mobility-challenged NYCHA residents the right of first refusal to live in apartments located on the lower floors of housing projects.
The following poignant story is from a Brooklyn resident, Angela Graham. It was printed in the New York Daily News in the column “Voice of the People,” on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.
“I’ve been on the NYCHA Section 8 waiting list for eight years. On June 14, I finally received a voucher. I’ve been homeless since June 10, after we were all put out into the street by new owners who didn’t offer us one penny to move. There were so many violations our building was unlivable.
All landlords- and I mean all- don’t take Section 8 and don’t want it. Your own city makes you homeless. I believe they know nobody is taking it but they will not offer you public housing because they’re busy throwing people out there, too.
I saw that it’s a law that a landlord must not discriminate against people with government rent subsidies. My voucher is only for up to $1,425 rent, and guess what, people are only renting rooms at that price, and guess what, Section 8 isn’t paying for you to sleep in a room. So what am I to do?
This system was set up to fail. They’re running people out of their homes and have the nerve to demand you have income of 40 times the rent. Who the hell do they think we are Donald Trump? They price you out and use the famous words “Go down South.” What makes you think I have family down South?
It’s sad that NYCHA issues the vouchers knowing we will not find housing, so will lose the voucher and continue to live in the streets.”
New York City has sold a percentage of its ownership in the city’s public housing to private developers. According to The Wall Street Journal, the city has sold a 50% stake in almost 900 NYCHA apartments to L + M Development Partners Inc. and BFC Partner. The sale reportedly garnered $150 million in immediate revenue.
The deal is said to still be “open,” and subject to further stipulations and negotiations. According to The Gothamist, NYC will receive an additional $100 million from the sale over the next 15 years, and $100 million in renovations.
The kicker is that the private developers are allegedly not only receiving tax credits, but they will also be able to receive the difference between the NYCHA rent and the market-rate from the federal government. Also, the developers will reportedly have the option of turning their purchased NYCHA apartments into market-rate apartments in 30 years.
The April 2016 Social Indicators Report, which is created by the Mayor’s Office of Operations for the City of New York, states the following regarding homeless shelter residents’ placement in public housing: “In 2016 and continuing for the next five years, NYCHA will set aside an additional 750 public housing units for homeless families coming out of DHS shelters. Combined with the NYCHA’s existing commitment to place 750 homeless families in public housing, NYCHA will place 1,500 homeless families into public housing each year, on top of the approximately 1,000 families NYCHA places each year that are at risk of homelessness.”