A Long Island City public housing complex will soon get the work that it needs through an expedited repair initiative.
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) launched NYCHA Cares, a program that plans to address a backlog of over 50,000 open skilled trades work orders in NYCHA apartments.
Among the projects that NYCHA Cares will focus on is the Queensbridge Houses South in Long Island City, which currently has thousands of open skill trades work orders that need to be addressed. NYCHA plans to complete work at the building within 24 months.
Previously, the service level agreements that were set by the prior administration lay out seven days for general maintenance work orders and 15 days for skilled trades work. With NYCHA Cares, the Authority plans to go through this old system to make repair work happen as quickly as possible for its residents and their families.
The program will receive $20 million to help eliminate the NYCHA’s work-order backlog and cut down wait times on related skilled trades work. With these funds, the NYCHA will bring in a team of internal skilled trades and temporary staff, including plumbers, electricians, plasterers, carpenters and painters, and pay for overtime and third-party vendors with construction and facilities expertise.
“Thanks to the unwavering support and unprecedented funding from Mayor de Blasio, NYCHA Cares exemplifies how we can effectively answer repair problems,” said Vito Mustaciuolo, NYCHA general manager. “By utilizing current staff, support staffing and private contracting solutions, we will be able to cut down wait times and make much needed repairs for our residents.”
The program comes after the city came under fire for its handling of NYCHA in recent years, specifically with regard to addressing lead paint hazards. Hundreds of children in NYCHA apartments were found to have above-normal lead levels in their blood, putting them at risk of lead poisoning symptoms affecting their growth and development.
Last month, the federal government and the city agreed to a settlement that will result in a court-appointed monitor overseeing NYCHA’s efforts to clean up their act.