Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A look at the backlogged work orders and violations of local New York City Public Housing properties

[Photo of Scott Stringer from Monday's press conference]

According to a damning audit that City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released on Monday, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) makes its residents wait for weeks, months and sometimes even years before fixing serious problems.

In addition, "NYCHA officials have repeatedly fixed the numbers in the their backlog of repair requests without actually fixing the problems," as the Daily News put it.

Per the report (find the summary here; the news release here):
The audit ... revealed that NYCHA drastically under-reported data on its maintenance backlog, failed to properly train staff to get rid of mold, mildew, and excessive moisture conditions in tenants’ apartments, and fell dramatically short when it came to meeting its own deadlines for repairs.

The audit also found that the NYCHA routinely closed non-emergency work orders if residents were not home when workers visited their apartments. In total, the audit found 55,000 backlogged repairs ... while it took the NYCHA an average of 370 days to fix safety violations.

We asked Stringer's office for the stats on NYCHA properties in the East Village and Lower East Side.

The work order backlog numbers are as of July 2014 and violations are as of September 2014:

45 Allen Street: 42 backlogged work orders, 4 outstanding building violations
Baruch Houses: 904 backlogged work orders, 55 outstanding building violations
Bracetti Plaza: 20 backlogged work orders, 2 outstanding building violations
Campos Plaza: 87 backlogged work orders, 5 outstanding building violations
First Houses: 19 backlogged work orders, 1 outstanding building violation
Gompers Houses: 147 backlogged work orders, 9 outstanding building violations
LaGuardia Houses: 275 backlogged work orders, 26 outstanding building violations
LES Consolidated: 180 backlogged work orders, 30 outstanding building violations
Meltzer Tower: 60 backlogged work orders, 1 outstanding building violation
Riis: 718 backlogged work orders, 43 outstanding building violations
• Seward Park Extension: 121 backlogged work orders, 16 outstanding violations
Smith: 468 backlogged work orders, 32 outstanding violations
Vladeck Houses: 335 backlogged work orders, 42 outstanding violations
Wald: 330 backlogged work orders, 8 outstanding violations

For their part, NYCHA officials said that Stringer was recycling old data.

Per DNAinfo:

"Reviewing old work order data from January 1, 2013 — July 31, 2014, the audit measure a long-acknowledged, well-documented issue, which the new leadership at NYCHA was brought onboard to fix," NYCHA Chief Communications Officer Jean Weinberg said in a statement.

Stringer is "recommending investing in technology to track repairs in New York City’s public housing similar to the CompStat program that the Police Department uses to map and respond to crime," per The New York Times.


Anonymous said...

Rather than investing in the technology referred to by Mr. Stringer, it would make more sense to privatize the NYCHA properties. That means handing over the property titles to the tenants, and let them become owners. Give them a long-term property tax moratorium, like 20 years. Then they could make their own repairs on their own schedule and not have to deal with the bureaucrats. The new owners would have an incentive to keep them in good repair, and to kick out the bad elements--the drug dealers and people who have guns in these properties.
Council housing in Britain was privatized in the '80s and had many beneficial results, as a former colleague of mine who grew up in them pointed out.

Bill, proponent of liberty and property rights, and opponent of government mccrookeaucrats and stupid government programs. Sorry to be redundant in calling government programs stupid.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

How do you propose that the tenants will maintain the buildings if they are given the property titles? One of the main points of NYCHA is to provide AFFORDABLE housing to New Yorkers since rent is only 30% of their income while they live in NYCHA.

The issue is that even WITH NYCHA, the repairs are backlogged. If tenants are give the property titles, so that they can make their own repairs on their own schedule, the needed repairs might not ever happen since they cannot afford it and then the responsibility would be on them since they have the property titles or ownership.

NYCHA isn't a perfect system, but it is very hard to put money toward repairs when the buildings are outdated and there are tenants who are not paying much for rent. Perhaps suggest another option other than giving tenants who can barely afford their rent to gain ownership of the NYCHA buildings. Privatization increases costs and burden on low-income families.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 10:09 AM,

Please, stop making sense. This is serious.

Scuba Diva said...

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous referenced Anonymous 10:90 AM:

Please, stop making sense. This is serious.

Or as my dad was fond of saying, "Don't confuse me with facts."

Anonymous said...

Weeks, months and sometimes years before making repairs? Are we sure that Kushner doesn't own the NYCHA buildings?

Anonymous said...

If NYCHA was private many of its employees would be sitting in jail for letting people live in inhumane conditions, but because it is public, there is no blame and no guilty. Good for Stringer for publicizing it and keep the pressure on until there are real improvements. The proof should be in action not words. The City run housing should be the Gold standard not the worst of the worst of all City Landlords.

Anonymous said...

What EV landlord has ever gone to jail for letting their tenants live in inhumane conditions? Hell, one killed two people and there haven't even been criminal charges filed yet.

Anonymous said...

Owners don't pay rent. The new owners would own an appreciating asset they could sell or leave to heirs.