City-run housing projects in the East Village and Lower East Side are in a state of urgent disrepair with leaky ceilings, broken windows, peeling paint, holes in walls and extensive mold, according to the New York Daily News. Repairs, it seems, will not happen any time soon.
The New York City Housing Authority slated only 9,000 of 106,000 of last year’s backlogged work orders to be completed in 2012, with a further 300 in 2013. The agency says it is aware of the issues but attributed the delay to budget cuts. “People need to take a look at this issue,” said board member and former City Council member Margarita Lopez. “It’s easy to take a shot at the authority but it’s time for the assembly to take responsibility for the money they took away from us.”
Michael Kelly, the general manager of operations for NYCHA, told residents at a recent hearing, “In 2005, NYCHA’s comprehensive physical needs assessment identified a five-year, $7.5 billion need to fully address the repair and maintenance across the authority. NYCHA only has $1.5 billion to address such repairs.”
For some elderly or ill residents, the repairs may come too late. Shoddy maintenance leaves elevators broken and the disabled shut in their apartments. Moldy walls and broken heating can cause asthma and emphysema.