FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2018
NYCHA AND CITY OFFICIALS LAUNCH NEW TOOLS TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE AND TRANSPARENCY
Residents now have access to same information on heat and hot water service as NYCHA management
New Capital Projects maps increase accountability, clearly show location and progress of construction projects planned or underway across the entire city
Use to the new tools at nyc.gov/NYCHA
NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Housing Authority, Borough President Eric Adams and Council Members Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Vanessa Gibson and Costa Constantinides announced the launch of new digital tools for residents. Residents now have access to the same up-to-date information on heat and hot water service as NYCHA management. NYCHA and City officials also unveiled new digital maps tracking the Authority’s construction projects, increasing transparency on the $1 billion in ongoing contracts. These are the latest transparency feature added to the NYCHA website. Here is an overview of NYCHA’s transparency and reporting publicly available.
Residents can use the new tools at nyc.gov/NYCHA.
This announcement comes during a week when the Assembly, led by Speaker Carl Heastie and Housing Chair Steven Cymbrowitz, overwhelmingly passed a bill requiring greater transparency on lead compliance issues. NYCHA will work closely with the Assembly on the implementation of this proposal, and it has plans to develop a Healthy Homes Dashboard to track lead paint inspections.
“NextGen NYCHA outlines a clear commitment to transparency, and the tools we are launching today are the latest in a series of steps we have taken to improve residents and other stakeholders access to information and improve accountability,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “We take our responsibility to inform and engage the public seriously. We will continue to identify areas where we can continue to make NYCHA more transparent. I am grateful for the leadership of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Councilmembers Alicka Ampry-Samuels and Vanessa L. Gibson who understand how important transparency is to New Yorkers.” Chair Olatoye added, “I also want to thank Speaker Carl Heastie and Housing Chair Steve Cymbrowitz for passing a bill that requires greater transparency on lead compliance issues. NYCHA looks forward to our continued work with the Assembly on investing in NYCHA.”
“I commend NYCHA for heeding my call, and the calls of public housing tenants, to implement a digital dashboard that tracks real-time information on important issues such as lead paint inspections and heat and hot water outages, as well as an online map that shows capital projects citywide. Enhancing public accountability empowers residents, and delivering a more dynamic agency response makes tenants real partners in the improvement of their developments. A ‘CompStat-esque’ model of tracking conditions and service delivery can restore confidence in NYCHA and improve the quality of life in our developments. This announcement isn’t about rhetoric; it’s about results,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“NYCHA’s response in creating a transparent and customer friendly dashboard to provide construction project updates is another initial step in the right direction. It is a direct response to the concerns and demands presented during our last hearing and evidence that when stakeholders come to the table, productivity takes place,” said Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Chair of the Committee on Public Housing.
“Heat isn't a luxury, it's a right and it's absolutely vital. NYCHA residents deserve rapid service and true transparency, especially when it comes to boiler repairs. I commend NYCHA for unveiling this improved online outage tracking system that gives residents real information in real time. I hope that this online system is the beginning of true transparency for our capital dollars and increased accountability for NYCHA itself,” said Councilmember Vanessa L. Gibson, Chair of the Subcommittee on Capital Budget.
“I am pleased that NYCHA will be expanding access to digital tools so tenants are informed of service disruptions and ongoing construction. Every tenant deserves to know if and when their heat or hot water will be temporarily shut off and this important initiative will help keep residents up-to-date and hold authorities accountable,” said Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).
In response to recommendations provided by City Council Public Housing Committee Chair Alicka Ampry-Samuel, NYCHA’s IT Department worked with the Heating Services team to improve its “Outage Dashboard” which tracks heat and hot water outages. The dashboard will now be automatically updated multiple times each day. It will include more data, including when the outage began, how many buildings and apartments are affected, when service has been restored, and how long it took to resolve an outage. This is the same information used by NYCHA management to track heat and hot water service.
View the Outage Dashboard at http://on.nyc.gov/outages
Led by Borough President Eric Adams, a number of elected officials recently made a request to the City to make more information about the status of NYCHA’s construction projects available to the public. NYCHA’s Capital Projects Division currently has over $1 billion in ongoing contracts, separate from the Sandy grant, across the five boroughs. These awards are posted online and updated regularly. To increase accountability, the Capital Projects team developed a map that outlines every NYCHA project across the city by development, allowing any resident or member of the public to find out information about current and planned capital projects including project scope, funding amount and source, status of project and project start and end date.
View the new Capital Tracker here.
Also newly added to the website is an Energy & Sustainability map that provides detailed information on several programs under the NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda, including Energy Performance Contracts, Weatherization, and the DEP/NYCHA Green Infrastructure Program.
Today’s announcement of these new transparency tools are part of NYCHA’s overall effort to increase transparency and accountability through NextGeneration NYCHA, the Authority’s 10-year strategic plan.
Since NextGen launched in May 2015, the Authority has improved its reporting and monitoring dramatically. This includes publishing quarterly progress reports on each NextGeneration NYCHA goal. The Sandy Recovery and Resiliency map shows all Sandy recovery work at NYCHA developments, and it served as inspiration for the two new Capital Projects maps. Additionally, NYCHA understands that online materials are not the only path to transparent information sharing, which is why it launched the Community Development Team in 2016. This department is fully dedicated to resident and community outreach on the real estate development pipeline. The team has held hundreds of meetings and spoken with tens of thousands of residents to ensure they understand what changes are coming, to allow their concerns to be part of the conversation and to ensure that residents have input in the development process.
NYCHA will continue to update its website with additional reporting features. Planned features include a Healthy Homes Dashboard to track lead paint inspections, and a Section 3 jobs tracker. To see the current overview of transparency and reporting on the NYCHA website, click here.