The Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City were among a number of buildings in New York City that received new roofs through Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to upgrade public housing.
Funds have been allocated to replace the roofs of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings throughout the city, including at Queensbridge, the nation’s largest public housing complex. Replacing the roofs will reduce mold, which can cause asthma and other respiratory illness.
“Residents may never see the new roof over their heads, but they will feel the difference,” de Blasio said. “We are targeting a major source of leaks and mold, making kids healthier and helping parents sleep easier. With the right resources, we can deliver real-time improvements to the quality of life for thousands of families.”
In addition to the new roofs, the Queensbridge Houses received free WiFi throughout the development, 360 CCTV cameras and 858 security lights.
The repairs at the Queensbridge Houses were a part of the first phase of a major roof replacement begun by the city in 2015. During the first phase, the roofs of 65 NYCHA buildings throughout the city have been replaced, costing $91.6 million.
“These new roofs mean real quality-of-life improvements for 13,000 residents,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “While only the first phase in a $1.3 billion investment, through these critical infrastructure repairs, we are making major strides toward achieving our NextGeneration NYCHA goal to provide safe, clean and connected communities for all public housing residents.”
In total, de Blasio said, the city is dedicating $1.3 billion to repair 950 deteriorating roofs for 175,000 NYCHA residents. Leaky roofs are not only responsible for key sources of water and excessive moisture that causes mold in apartments, but also represent a danger to a building’s physical structure. This upgrade will provide a long-term, cost-saving solution that will improve the quality of life for residents.
The second phase of the project, which will repair 78 roofs and cost $100 million, has now entered construction and is expected to be completed by June 2019.
The announcement came days after Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in the city’s public housing system and appointed a monitor to oversee NYCHA’s efforts to make critical repairs.