City report finds systemic problems with NYCHA elevators

Death of elderly tenant in the Bronx spurred investigation

Mar.March 29, 2016 01:08 PM

UPDATED, March 29, 4:50 p.m.: Spurred by the death of an elderly tenant, the city investigated the New York City Housing Authority’s elevators and found systemic problems, specifically with fail-safe measures.

On Christmas Eve, octogenarian Olegario Pabon, died in a faulty elevator at NYCHA’s Boston Road Plaza in the Bronx. The city’s Department of Investigation looked into the incident and a report found that a brake monitor, a fail-safe device, had been disabled on the elevator, the New York Daily News reported.

NYCHA found that out of 1,080 elevators with the same brake monitor it inspected, 80 weren’t working, according to the newspaper.

“DOI’s investigation uncovered significant flaws in NYCHA’s handling of elevator complaints, as well as NYCHA’s compliance with elevator safety laws,” according to the report.

According to the report, NYCHA knew that the elevator had problems, but did not service it. The Daily News reported that a Boston Road tenant called NYCHA’s command center before Pabon died and said it was “going up and down by itself” with the door open, and when the door did close, “it slams real hard.”

Since the incident, NYCHA said it has fixed the brake monitors and would require mechanics to regularly check them, according to the News.

“We are aggressively investigating several workers to bring disciplinary action as soon as possible. There must be consequences,” said NYCHA CEO Shola Olatoye in a statement.

NYCHA, which has been mired in financial woes, said on Monday it has a $60 million deficit, according to reports. Gov. Andrew Cuomo allocated $100 million last April for repairs. [NYDN]Dusica Sue Malesevic

This post was updated with a statement from Olatoye.

Related Articles

New York City Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been and New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman (Credit: Been via NYU; Hoylman by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Chorus for moratorium on evictions grows louder in New York

NYCHA wants to create “citywide clearinghouse” for its 80M sf of air rights

NYCHA wants to create “citywide clearinghouse” for its 80M sf of air rights

The Red Hook NYCHA Houses in Brooklyn (Credit: Jim.henderson via Wikipedia)

NYCHA hit with class action alleging “deplorable” conditions

East Williamsburg’s Williamsburg Houses and the Harlem River Houses and (Credit: Wikipedia)

NYCHA inks $1.5B deal to privatize management of 5,900 units

NYCHA housing (Credit: Wikipedia)

Feds launch investigation into landlords’ lead levels

State Senator Julia Salazar and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein (Credit: Getty Images)

Pols take aim at private equity with plan to tax mezz debt

 NYCHA CEO Gregory Russ and NYCHA houses (Credit: Minneapolis Public Housing Authority and Getty Images)

NYCHA head: Agency now needs $40B in repairs

Fort Independence Houses at 3340 Bailey Ave in Knightsbridge Heights (Credit: Google Maps)

NYCHA employee allegedly shot boss at Bronx housing project