City’s maintenance of public housing is unacceptable: survey

August 08, 2011 01:19PM

The city Housing Authority is doing an unacceptable job in
maintaining the public housing developments it oversees, according to
a new survey, the New York Daily News reported. Through a survey of
1,500 residents at 71 public housing developments across the city,
community groups found that the agency had a failing grade of D in
10 of 26 categories, including building safety, pest control and
elevator maintenance. One Bronx resident said she had waited three
years for repairs to a leak in her bathroom, while another said she
frequently saw rats in her building courtyard, elevators were often
broken, and there were no security cameras in the lobby.

The researchers of the study at the Community Development Project of the Urban
Justice Center averaged the grades in each category and for each
housing development. Five organizations conducted the survey between
May 2010 and April 2011. According to their calculations, the Meltzer development in lower Manhattan received the worst overall grade average – a D-plus

The Housing Authority also got a D average
for police protection and for the slow responsiveness of its complaint
hotline, as well as a C- for the timeliness and quality of repairs.
Even though there were no F or A averages, there was one B average
for language access at the complaint hotline, and 56.4 percent of
Chinese-speakers marked an F in the category. Sheila Stainback, spokesperson for the Housing Authority, told the Daily News
that the agency is developing a “plan to preserve public housing” that
will address maintenance, repair backlog, safety and security issues.