According to an audit released on Monday by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.The New York City Housing Authority drastically under-reports data on its maintenance backlog and falls grossly far behind in meeting its own deadlines for repairs.
The audit examined NYCHA’s maintenance and repairs from January 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014, and discovered that thousands of NYCHA residents end up waiting for months and even years before problems such as asbestos, missing carbon monoxide detectors, broken elevators, leaky ceilings, are addressed.
A backlog of over 50,000 repairs – including thousands that have been ignored for over a year — is what the comptroller’s office is characterizing as a case study in mismanagement and, he added, “It is equally clear that we must fix NYCHA itself.”
“During our audit, we learned of one tenant who had to deal with a leak for more than a decade. We also heard from a NYCHA tenant who was forced to live with mold for eleven years,” said Stringer at a press conference on announcing the findings. “And another NYCHA resident told us that when her stove started catching on fire on a regular basis, NYCHA told her ‘they have no parts to fix it, they have no stoves to give’ so she should ‘buy her own stove.’
Stringer said he recommends a four-part agenda:
#1. Establish NYCHAStat, a fully transparent management tool based on the NYPD’s highly successful CompStat intended to track open work orders by development
#2. Enact budget reforms designed to bring NYCHA into line with other City agencies in terms of transparency and accounting standards;
#3. Make public information NYCHA’s Physical Needs Assessment, a comprehensive review of NYCHA infrastructure needs in all five boroughs; and
#4. Usie surplus funds from the Battery Park City Authority to support capital improvements at NYCHA, including technology and infrastructure upgrades.
These proposed steps are discussed in greater detail in an accompanying press release.
Major findings include:
To read the full audit, click here.