The Real Deal New York

NYCHA misreported maintenance backlog: comptroller

Housing authority criticized for closing work orders without making repairs

July 14, 2015 04:15PM

From left: Scott Stringer and Shola Olatoye (credit: Max Dworkin)

From left: Scott Stringer and Shola Olatoye (credit: Max Dworkin)

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer Public released an audit Monday that claims housing officials underreported their maintenance backlog by nearly 40 percent and closed work orders without performing repairs.

The audit found that the New York City Housing Authority routinely closed non-emergency work orders if residents are not home when NYCHA workers visit their apartments.

“The truth is thousands of repairs were completed on paper only,” Stringer said Monday, according to DNAinfo. “This is the worst kind of magic trick — making problems disappear on paper while leaving NYCHA residents to deal with faulty wiring, falling plaster, and dangerous homes.”

NYCHA, led by Shola Olatoye, dismissed the audit before it was even released, saying that Stringer was simply “recycling old data” by criticizing the agency for its 55,000 work-order backlog.

Addressing the closing of repair orders when residents aren’t at home, NYCHA said, “work orders are closed like operations in a doctor’s office.” If patients make an appointment and don’t show up, they have to make a new appointment, it added in a statement.

However, NYCHA officials admitted to faults in the current system, such as the lack of measures in place to determine whether it was the “doctor or the patient” that missed the appointment. [DNAinfo] — TRD