New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents are facing extensive delays in getting their homes repaired, with wait times reaching over two months for non-emergency repairs, according to records reviewed by The Post. The average repair time for NYCHA workers during the fiscal year ending June 30 was 65.4 days, a 33% increase from the previous year and a staggering 242% worse than fiscal 2019. The latest records indicate that wait times are continuing to worsen, with an average repair time of nearly 66 days from September through October 2023.
Glenn Collins, a tenant leader at Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway, Queens, has been waiting for over two years for NYCHA to address numerous issues in his three-bedroom apartment, including severely cracked walls and a gaping hole in the shower. Despite court orders, NYCHA repeatedly ignored the raw sewage leaking into Collins’ bathroom for three years before finally fixing the issue in December. Collins expressed frustration, stating that “no one should have to live like this.”
Even emergency repairs, such as no heat or hot water, are experiencing delays. The average wait time for NYCHA to complete an emergency repair was 27.8 hours in fiscal 2023, a 27% increase from the previous year and 118% slower than fiscal 2019. Although there has been some improvement in the first four months of this fiscal year, with repairs completed in an average of 16.2 hours, many tenant advocates argue that even 24 hours for emergency repairs is too long.
NYCHA attributed the poor response times to a backlog of work orders accumulated during the pandemic in Mayor Adams’ preliminary management report for fiscal 2024. However, NYCHA’s goal for resolving non-emergency repairs is 15 days, a target it has failed to meet since fiscal 2016. The authority is already under partial federal oversight due to its longstanding inability to address serious problems like mold and lead paint.
In a significant setback for NYCHA, 70 current and former superintendents and middle managers were indicted on extortion and bribery charges by the federal government. These individuals allegedly pocketed over $2 million in bribes since 2013 by awarding contractors $13 million in small, no-bid repair jobs at various NYCHA developments citywide. The indictments shed light on previously unnoticed corruption that disproportionately affected low-income neighborhoods.
Kimberly Comes, who heads the Redfern Houses Residents Council Inc., expressed hope that the recent arrests would lead to positive change. NYCHA Executive Vice President Barbara Brancaccio emphasized the authority’s zero tolerance for illegal activity and its commitment to working with law enforcement and oversight partners to address malfeasance. Brancaccio stated that NYCHA has made transformative changes to its business practices in the past five years and will continue to do so.