Mayor, NYCHA chair step up repair efforts

January 31, 2013 12:00PM

The city has stepped up efforts to eliminate the backlog of non-emergency repairs at city-administered buildings by the end of the year, a statement from the Mayor’s office today said. “No one has felt the impact of Federal underfunding more than [New York City Housing Authority] residents, who have had to face long waits for repairs to apartments and public spaces,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a press conference today at the Drew Hamilton Houses in West Harlem. “Through better management of materials and equipment inventory, improved scheduling of skilled trades workers and by hiring more workers to make repairs, NYCHA will … deal with new requests more quickly.”

The “action plan” developed through an extensive conversation with a variety of NYCHA stakeholders identified the source of backlog as a shortage of skilled repair workers, a shortage of equipment, organizational difficulties and the cost of hiring additional labor, the statement said.

NYCHA Chairman John Rhea insisted a better use of resources could eliminate the mounting repair work needed at aging NYCHA buildings. “In spite of our budgetary constraints, we have a responsibility to work smarter and better with what resources we do have,” he said in the statement. [] –Guelda Voien