Robert Malone fills four repair tickets each month for his studio apartment in NYCHA’s Brownstones – buckling on walls, a window frame, cracks in the ceiling, a crumbling subfloor in the kitchen.
Their requests run into a pile of open work orders, which rose by 40 percent last year, reaching a record high that tenants and housing authorities pin on COVID-19 and lead paint and mold removal. A new system for tracking.
NYCA figures show a total of 483,275 at the end of December, up from 344,958 in 2019. The day took to complete the number of maintenance staff as well as 134 repairs to 225 from the first year.
Residents blame backlog on coronovirus. NYCHA Brass acknowledges that the health crisis is a pressure on repairs, but claims that the fault lies mostly with the new repair tracking system.
Not only has the disease laid out about 850 of NYCHA’s 9,000 required employees over the past 12 months, but tenants have refused to open their doors in fear of being infected.
In Brownstone, Cynthia Tibbs, president of the Tenant Association, owns herself. Roughly 100 residents have been without LPG for five months when Conday had to shut down a trunkline to prevent a leak – and yet more than a few still wouldn’t let contractors in.
“COVID is making my life a living hell,” said Tibbs, who received 16 voicemails in a single day. “I am dealing with mass hysteria – either they are worried about workers catching the virus or it takes 10 hours to run the pipe and remove asbestos.”
NYCHA, like all city agencies, has felt the weight of the outbreak – from emergency staff to sick residents to only emergency fixes, CEO Greg Rus told The Post.
“When the epidemic first hit,” he said, “everyone backed away.”
But Russ described NYCHA’s new work order process as the largest part of the work order, with the lead to follow the 2019 federal agreement to remove paint and mold.
Now, the agency creates a work order for each stage of the job. For example, scraping not only lead paint gives the stamp, but also wipes the dust off later and at every other stage.
“We have many work orders right now and it’s really helpful,” he said. “It lets us track our work to make sure we’re doing things right.”
Despite the epidemic and tracking system, NYCHA will always have a long fix-it list, until the city begins to replace old development. Today, 175 of the agency’s 302 developments are at least 50 years old.
“If you look at some of the work orders we’re doing, we won’t have those orders when the capital is invested,” Ras told the Post, New York would need $ 40 billion to build 175,000 apartments in New York .
With all the repairs her place needs, Malone just wants to move on.
“I hope I can get a transfer,” he told The Post, “because this apartment is definitely not doing anything for me.”