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This webpage is an archived image of the Office of the Public Advocate's website as of December 31, 2013. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. The Office of the Public Advocate cautions that the information has not been reviewed subsequently for current accuracy and completeness, nor has the information been updated. The information contained on this page may have been superseded by subsequent events and the passage of time.

 
 
After securing an accounting of the New York City Housing Authority’s repair backlog, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio released a report analyzing the nearly 370,000 outstanding repairs, and warned the agency against neglecting its most time-sensitive and health-threatening repairs in favor of more expedient ones.
 
After NYCHA announced its plan to “eliminate the entire backlog of outstanding repair requests by the end of 2013,” de Blasio demanded the release of records on all backlogged repairs under Freedom of Information Law. That data, released to the Public Advocate in May, showed:
  • 5,342 air conditioners—vital during heat waves—awaited repair an average of 196 days.
  • 2,573 building doors—critical to securing NYCHA buildings—were unfixed after an average of 150 days.
  • Smoke detector repairs had been on hold for an average of 236 days, and broken sprinklers had awaited repairs after 224 days.
  • Harlem’s Grant Houses had more outstanding repairs than any other NYCHA development—6,203 repairs waiting an average of 344 days.
Moreover, the data raises serious question about the legitimacy of repairs made following NYCHA’s pledge to eliminate its entire repair backlog. According to the data, more than 50,000 repairs were made in just the first two weeks of February 2013—the equivalent of 3,394 repairs per day. De Blasio warned those numbers suggested the agency was canceling old repair tickets and making quick fixes for the purposes of touting big reductions in its backlog, and urged the agency to prioritize the most critical repairs instead.
 
“The Housing Authority seems to think it can spin its way out of making real repairs. NYCHA tenants deserve better. We don’t need more promises or gimmicks. We need the real thing,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “If a private landlord neglected tenants like this, the City would throw the book at them. We need accountability for conditions in our public housing.”

Download de Blasio’s analysis of NYCHA’s data on its backlog of work order requests (.pdf)


 

Download de Blasio’s letter to Chairman John Rhea (.pdf)

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