NEW YORK – Today marks the beginning of the winter heating season that runs from October 1 through May 31. In preparation for the upcoming cold weather, NYCHA’s Heating Management, Operations, Emergency Management, and Capital Projects departments have been working collaboratively throughout the year to repair and maintain the Authority’s extensive network of boilers, distribution equipment, and hot water systems that deliver heat and hot water service to public housing residents across New York City.
“NYCHA fully understands the impact that heating outages have on residents, which is why we work throughout the year to prepare for the cold weather,” said NYCHA Chief Operating Officer Vito Mustaciuolo. “The Authority continues to improve the quality of our heating equipment and increase the capacity of our staff and vendors to promptly address our residents’ needs.”
Each year, beginning October 1, all New York City building owners must maintain an indoor temperature of at least 68 degrees between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. when it’s below 55 degrees outside. From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., indoor temperature must be at least 62 degrees, regardless of the temperature outside. Hot water must be kept at a minimum temperature of 120 degrees at the source year-round.
Over the past three years, NYCHA has significantly reduced heat outages from 1,127 outages in the 2018-2019 heating season to 582 in the most recent 2020-2021 season. The average restoration time also dropped from 8.8 hours to 7.3 during the same period.
NYCHA has approximately 600 Heating Management Services Department staff members who are dedicated to extending the life of the Authority’s boilers and related heat distribution equipment year-round. As part of these efforts, they conduct preventative maintenance on heating infrastructure during the summer months and established a 24/7 Heat Desk that provides remote monitoring of heating plants. The Authority also implemented a new staffing model that deploys heating plant technicians and plumbing teams to promptly respond to outages during evening and overnight hours. To prepare for this year’s heating season, the Authority continues to increase its stock of mobile boilers and is in the process of investing $28 million in operating funds to replace more than 500 heating infrastructure components, including hot water boilers and systems, heat control panels, vacuum tanks, oil transfer pumps, and other critical equipment.
NYCHA works with partner City agencies such as the Department for the Aging (DFTA) and the Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) to open warming centers for its residents when necessary. As part of NYCHA’s Transformation Plan, there is increased emphasis on communications related to these efforts — ensuring residents are proactively notified about planned outages through flyers and robocalls, providing regular updates on service restoration, and improving the technology for residents to inform NYCHA staff if they are experiencing lingering issues related to the restoration of service.
Residents experiencing issues with heat or hot water should call the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771 or report the issue via the MyNYCHA mobile app or web version. They should also contact NYCHA when:
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) NYCHA serves 358,675 authorized residents in 168,100 apartments within 285 housing developments through the conventional public housing program (Section 9). NYCHA also serves 20,201 authorized residents in 9,511 units within 50 developments that have been converted under the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) / Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) programs. Through federal rent subsidies (Section 8 Leased Housing Program), NYCHA also assists approximately 197,894 authorized residents.