For the past few years, the number of complaints about NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) has skyrocketed by residents living in their projects. Their complaints range from rat infestations to dangerous levels of lead in their paint, and residents of NYCHA are sick of it.
NYCHA is supposed to give safe and decent affordable housing in a secure environment for low-income residents, but that doesn’t seem to be the case to many NYCHA residents. The vicinity of housing buildings are scattered with rats and the construction of the buildings are weak, causing mold and leaking roofs on rainy days. NYCHA residents have had enough and want better conditions for themselves and their family.
When residents try to contact workers in NYCHA to help fix their issues, they receive terrible service and have to wait until NYCHA comes to fix it — which is usually after many days or months.
“They guys [NYCHA workers] made a hole in my son’s room. This happened almost a year ago, and they still haven’t fixed it after saying they would come in the next day to fix the issue, and now a mold is growing from that hole,” said Sonia, a resident in a Frederick Douglass housing building between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenue on 104th street.
Sonia isn’t the only one with a problem like this. In nearly every other housing building, there are more issues that endanger the health of residents and authorities of NYCHA aren’t doing much about it.
According to the City Limits, “lack of provision of adequate heat & water, functioning elevators, uncontrolled pest infestations, and fraudulent inspections whereby the City of New York (via NYCHA, NYC’s largest landlord) admits to numerous housing-code, environmental and human-rights violations disproportionately impacting the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of low-income residents, in particular children and seniors of color.”
NYCHA residents are getting a lack of care of attention, and not much has been done to satisfy them. This leads to residents having to take on the problems with their own hands, wasting money for issues they are not responsible for.
“Last year, over the summer, they [NYCHA] had shut off my stove for three months. I’m a single mother with two kids, and I didn’t know how I could feed them… I had to order a small mini stove to cook for the three of us… it was one of the hardest times I’ve had in my life,” says Mayah, who lives in the Washington housing buildings on 3rd Avenue, 100th street.
Rather than tackling the issue head on, NYCHA has been trying to minimize the problems.
“They put a bandaid on the problem, they don’t fix it entirely,” the tenant association president at Ingersoll Houses told Spectrum News.
While many people are complaining about these hazardous situations in their homes, NYCHA continues to get away with it.
An article on the Gotham Gazette, states, “most notably, 20 months ago we issued a report after our investigation determined that children in NYCHA apartments were being exposed to dangerous levels of lead paint and that senior NYCHA officials had filed false forms with the federal government that failed to disclose this fact.”
NYCHA then had falsified more forms after failing to check smoke detectors. The same article on the Gotham Gazette mentions, “the first report came after two children died in a fire where the smoke detector did not go off, even though an inspector had been in the apartment just hours before the fire and falsely filed paperwork stating that he had tested the alarm and it was working.”
Angry residents urge that NYCHA be held responsible for their incompetence and give them a secure and healthy living space so they can get their money’s worth; and so they won’t feel as though their lives are at risk.