“NYCHA needs capital to address the lingering problems of its aging housing portfolio, which has suffered due to decades of federal divestment,” said Rochel Leah Goldblatt, spokesperson for the housing authority. “We are working on innovative solutions to raise this capital while focusing on the health and safety of our residents and staff.”
The housing authority is overseen by a federal monitor under a 2019 agreement following a large, multi-year federal investigation into the city’s public housing system, which documented false allegations that apartments had been inspected for lead.
Federal Observer Bart M. Schwartz expressed concern about the growing backlog of housing authority work orders during the pandemic and urged authorities to restart routine repairs and reduce the backlog.
The most common work orders that have not been fulfilled are requests for repairs to paint, walls, ceilings, mold, kitchen cabinets and lead, although housing administration officials declined to provide details of the different categories.
Victor Bach, housing policy analyst for the Community Service Society of New York, a non-profit social service agency, said the deteriorating day-to-day conditions of some developments had added another layer of stress for tenants already worried about the pandemic.
“The pandemic is clearly making a bad situation worse,” he said. “The residents are dealing with this – and very, very difficult living conditions.
At Campos Plaza II, a social housing complex in Manhattan, tenants complained of worsening leaks, broken building door locks, rats and rotten smells from the exterminations, and mold and unfinished kitchen repairs at an on-site community center used for childcare programs.