Investment will fix over 700 NYCHA roofs, benefitting more than 120,000 NYCHA residents
Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Housing Authority Chair Shola Olatoye today committed $1 billion in City capital to replace deteriorating roofs on NYCHA buildings over the next 10 years. Over 700 buildings and more than 120,000 NYCHA residents will reap the benefits of this investment. When coupled with Mayor de Blasio’s 2015 commitment of investing $300 million over three years, the total amount allocated to this initiative reaches $1.3 billion to fix over 950 roofs which will benefit a total of over 175,000 residents.
This commitment will not only fund the replacement of roofs and parapets (the protective wall along roofs), but it will also help to substantially reduce mold which can be detrimental to people’s health. Leaky roofs are one of the key sources of the water and excessive moisture that causes mold in apartments as well as physical damage to the building’s structure. The total $1.3 billion investment will allow NYCHA to eliminate the leaking roofs that are one of the root causes of the mold, providing a long-term, cost-saving solution that will improve quality of life at over 950 NYCHA buildings.
“This crucial investment – the largest City investment in NYCHA – will improve quality of life for our city’s children, teachers, fire fighters and other public servants who live in NYCHA housing and who keep this city running,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “In addition, these roof repairs will provide a long-term solution in our efforts to address mold, eventually saving the City money later down the line so that we can further improve NYCHA housing.”
NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye said, “This historic commitment is about more than just bricks and mortar, it’s about investing in New York City’s working families and our city’s most vulnerable. Now more than ever, critical infrastructure upgrades are vital as we continue to implement NextGeneration NYCHA, our long-term strategic plan to create safe, clean and connected public housing.”
NYCHA’s prioritization of mold abatement includes measures to eliminate the root causes of mold rather than just abating mold on a case by case basis in each unit. The approach focuses on many different improvements that eliminate moisture in buildings, increase ventilation, and repair damage caused by mold such as plastering and paint. Investing in NYCHA roofs will also improve building operations as well as reduce maintenance and repair work orders. When NYCHA made core infrastructure investment in roofs and brickwork in the past, wall-related work orders decreased by an average of 56 percent.
Exposure to certain kinds of mold can lead to asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Asthma is now recognized as a leading cause of school and work absences, emergency room visits and hospitalizations among low‐income minority populations in communities.
NYCHA anticipates the new roofs will:
- Preserve physical structures by safeguarding them from incoming moisture, saving money on repairing moisture damage
- Address a significant cause of mold in NYCHA buildings, protecting residents and improving their quality of life
- Reduce operating expenses by making buildings more efficient
City Support for NYCHA:
- In 2015, committed $300 million over three years to fix 223 roofs benefiting 54,788 residents
- In 2017, proposed $1 billion over 10 years to fix 729 roofs benefiting 120,000 residents
- Grand total: $1.3 billion to fix 952 roofs benefiting 175,478 residents
- In 2015: invested $200 million to repair 259 building facades (to comply with Local Law 11)
- In 2014: Waived $70 million annual NYPD payment
- In 2015: Waived $30 million annual PILOT payment
Mayor’s Action Plan for Public Safety (MAP)
- In 2014: committed $140 million for a comprehensive effort to improve security at 15 NYCHA sites, home to nearly 62,000 residents
- To date, completed exterior lighting at nine developments
- Crime is down nearly 6 percent at MAP developments citywide for 2016
Wifi / Broadband
- In 2015: Invested $10 million to bring free, high-speed broadband service to over 16,000 NYCHA residents across seven developments (Queensbridge North and South, Red Hook East and West, Mott Haven Houses, Jefferson Houses, Stapleton Houses)
- Installation was recently completed at Queensbridge
- NYCHA is responding to repairs quicker – average repair time is down to 4.2 days in 2016 from 9.2 days in 2015
When Mayor de Blasio introduced free wifi and free tablets for 5,000 of the 175,000 families who live in NYCHA buildings, I asked the mayor why is it that NYCHA tenants have to wait over five years to receive fully working replacement stoves and refrigerators.
Mayor de Blasio answered that it would take 'Eighteen Billion Dollars' to fix all the problems that are wrong in the NYCHA housing system.
This is a start Mayor de Blasio, but where is the other 'Seventeen Billion Dollars'?