May 9, 2015
First year will cover 66 buildings – benefiting nearly 13,000 residents
Construction to begin next month
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio and New York City Housing Authority Chair Shola Olatoye today announced a $100 million initiative to address mold at its root cause. The City’s $100 million stems from the Mayor’s pledge to match Albany’s $100 million investment in NYCHA. The City will continue to invest $100 million for roof replacements each year over the next two years, totaling $300 million. The first year’s funding will cover roof replacement on 66 buildings – benefitting nearly 13,000 residents. The City has also submitted a roof replacement plan for Albany’s $100 million that would cover an additional 123 buildings.
The plan will address mold at 66 of NYCHA’s worst buildings and the funding will be spent on replacing roofs and parapets (the protective wall along roofs). The 66 buildings that NYCHA has selected have higher numbers of maintenance repair requests such as leak repair, painting and mold work orders. Leaky roofs are the main cause for water and moisture to enter a building, and the accumulated moisture contributes to mold, leaks and physical damage to the buildings structure. Construction will begin next month.
This investment will:
· Preserve physical structures by safeguarding them from incoming moisture, saving money on repairing moisture damage
· Eliminate core symptoms of mold in NYCHA buildings, protecting residents and improving their quality of life
· Reduce operating expenses by making buildings more efficient
NYCHA’s prioritization of mold abatement includes measures to eliminate the root cause of mold rather than just abating mold on a case by case basis in each unit. The approach focuses on many different improvements that eliminate moisture in buildings, increase ventilation, and repair damage caused by mold such as plastering and paint. Investing in the 66 buildings’ roofs will also improve building operation, reducing maintenance and repair work orders. When NYCHA made core infrastructure investment in roofs and brickwork in the past, wall-related work orders decreased by an average of 56 percent.
Exposure to mold can lead to asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Asthma is now recognized as a leading cause of school and work absences, emergency room visits and hospitalizations among low‐income minority populations in communities.
Full List of Developments for First Wave:
Sheepshead Bay – 18 buildings
Queensbridge South – 14 buildings
Queensbridge North – 14 buildings
Parkside – 14 buildings
Albany – 6 buildings
“Years of federal and state disinvestment have led to deteriorating buildings, depriving tenants of the level of housing they deserve,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “By making these critical investments in our aging NYCHA buildings, we are both protecting our residents – many of whom are children – and saving money spent on repairing these buildings.”
“No New Yorker should be forced to live in a dilapidated and unsafe building. I am pleased to work with Mayor de Blasio and the members of the Assembly Majority to invest in much-needed repairs for these NYCHA buildings to protect the safety and well-being of residents. I commend the Mayor for matching state funding for these repairs – the health of many of our most vulnerable residents depends on improving these buildings,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
“I couldn’t be happier to see the New York City Housing Authority finally receive a portion of the financial support they so desperately need and deserve. Mayor de Blasio and NYCHA Chairwoman Olatoye have once again proven their commitment to lifting such an indispensable asset out of debt and decay. Combined with funds secured in the 2015 New York State Budget, and billions in new federal funding, NYCHA residents can look forward to a safer and healthier quality of life,” said Assembly Member and Housing Committee Chair Keith L.T. Wright.
“The Mayor should be applauded for rising above politics and ensuring that the City’s match of 100 million dollars is allocated based on health and safety, rather than on politics. By replacing roofs in the 66 buildings that need them the most, the Mayor’s plan will preserve thousands of endangered affordable housing units and will confront the root cause of mold growth in public housing. The Mayor has shown that, among the Chief Executives in our state, he is uniquely serious about preserving public housing,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Committee on Public Housing.
“The days of deterioration that some of NYCHA’s buildings have fallen into is now ending thanks to Mayor de Blasio. He has recognized the appalling state of much of the City’s public housing and has made fixing this issue a cornerstone of his public policy agenda. This critical investment in the infrastructure of these particular buildings will greatly improve the surrounding community as well as enhance the lives of all the families residing there,” said Senator Ruth-Hassell Thompson.
“I am pleased that Mayor Bill de Blasio has prioritized the Parkside development in the initial phase. Parkside's neglect over the years has subjected our residents, families and children to the hazardous conditions of mold. This long-awaited investment is welcomed and is a good start to providing safe and quality housing. I look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio on addressing more of the problems that plague NYCHA buildings,” said Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj.
“I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for making this great investment in improving the roofs in Queensbridge Houses,” said Assembly Member Catherine Nolan.
“I am pleased that the Mayor will be allocating needed funds to NYCHA for the repair of roofs in 66 NYCHA Developments. I am especially pleased that Albany Houses is one of those Developments. For too long the residents, of Albany Houses have had to endure leaks from the roofs that has caused damage to individual apartments and have created mold problems presenting a health hazard, especially to the children and the elderly. My hope is that the work will be done as expeditiously as possible,” said Assembly Member Annette Robinson.
“This is a welcome announcement to the residents of the Queensbridge Houses who have waited many years for the completion of these critical repairs,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s decision to fund roof replacements of NYCHA buildings across the City. This responsible investment will benefit thousands of New Yorkers and allow NYCHA to dedicate scarce resources to other essential improvements citywide.”“Affordable housing should not mean substandard housing. NYCHA residents absolutely deserve safety and good health in the communities they cherish. These roof replacements will mean fewer leaks and less mold, sparing NYCHA's families stressful emergencies that affect their ability to work and learn. It's such an important step and I applaud the administration for taking it,” Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.