From Twin Parks West in the Bronx to Farragut Houses in Brooklyn to Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway, we heard the same story. When residents of public housing complained about no heat or hot water, they were given a repair order ticket, but nothing happened.
“The tickets are being closed out literally minutes, some even seconds after they’re making them,” said Glenn Collins, the president of the Redfern Houses Tenant Association. “Two, no one is coming to check on these residents.”
Conflicting reports about actual heat outages and NYCHA’s accounting are raising serious questions among lawmakers.
“It’s a little ludicrous,” City Council Member Donovan Richards Jr. said. “Do you really count an apartment that has partial heat as fully resolving the issue? I don’t think so.”
City Council Member Ben Kallos said, “It makes me angry to know that New York City Housing Authority is actually a bad landlord because that’s the city government.”
NYCHA Chairperson Shola Olatoye is already on thin ice with the City Council. A Department of Investigation report found she was aware her agency lied about lead paint inspections. Sources told me the same DOI is looking into NYCHA’s response to the cold crisis.
She insisted that proper protocol was followed. She said that NYCHA workers go and take random apartment temperatures when heat is restored after a systemwide outage.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told me that NYCHA’s accounting didn’t match up with reality at the Farragut Houses.
“NYCHA was stating that buildings have heat and customers were stating there was no heat,” Adams said.
He added that NYCHA should embrace simple technology like Heat Seek to accurately track apartment temperatures.
“It’s a small device, about the size of your thumb, you place it in your apartment–it monitors the heat,” Adams said.
Lawmakers also said they’d like to see NYCHA complaints run through the city’s central 311 system so they can be independently documented.
Adams said NYCHA needs to have performance accountability like the NYPD’s CompStat and the Sanitation Department’s GPS tracking for snow removal.
FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers OYESHOLA OLATOYE, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, NYCHA https://twitter.com/SholaOlatoye DONOVAN RICHARDS JR., City Council Member, Queens https://twitter.com/DRichards13
GLENN COLLINS, President, Redfern Houses Tenant Association https://twitter.com/GlennCollins718