Thousands of NYCHA units lay vacant due to delayed repairs

Hundreds of apartments waited an average of seven years for renovations, a new audit found

Jun.June 25, 2015 08:00 AM

Hundreds of the New York City Housing Authority’s apartments have been vacant for an average of seven years for repairs and renovations and least 80 apartments have been empty for more than a decade, according to a new audit commissioned by Comptroller Scott Stringer.

In total, NYCHA had 2,342 vacant units that needed long- or short-term repairs as of September 2014, the audit found, according to the New York Post and Capital New York. One such apartment has been vacant since 1994, according to the Post.

The audit found that the vacancies are costing the authority at least $7.7 million in lost rent.

Meanwhile, roughly 270,000 people are on NYCHA’s waiting list. The authority owns roughly 178,000 units across the city.

“It’s beyond the realm of explanation how years can pass before apartments become habitable,” Stringer told the newspaper.

NYCHA responded that its vacancy rate has dropped by almost 40 percent in the last couple of years and that federal reimbursement rules have prevented the agency from losing money. A lack of resources is the reason for the delays in repairs and renovations, according to NYCHA.

“NYCHA has a record low vacancy rate of only 1 percent, the lowest it’s been in nearly 10 years,” a NYCHA spokesperson told the newspaper. [NYP] and [Capital NY] — Claire Moses

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