City to slate $1 billion in City capital for the replacement of over 700 deteriorating roofs in next decade. On January 24, 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Housing Authority Chair Shola Olatoye announced a capital commitment of $1 billion to replace deteriorating roofs on buildings owned by the NYCHA over the next 10 years. The Mayor had previously committed $300 million in 2015 over three years. The $1.3 billion is expected to fix over 950 roofs for the benefit of over 175,000 residents.
NYCHA is responsible for 179,000 public housing units in the City, representing 13.5% of all rent-regulated apartments in the five boroughs. The units are spread throughout 2,600 buildings in 328 developments and make up over 3 million square feet of space. Deteriorated roofs can cause, beyond structural issues, an excess of moisture that allows mold to fester in apartments. Household mold has been linked to a series of negative health outcomes including eczema, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. The $10 billion investment will not only fund roof replacements but will also help reduce mold as leaky roofs are a key source of mold. Currently there are over 1,000 poorly rated roofs remaining to be replace.
In March 2016, State Senator Jeffrey Klein alongside City Council Member Ritchie Torres released a report summarizing a 28 question survey conducted with over 200 NYCHA residents from all five boroughs. The survey found that 50 percent of households had a family member who suffers from Asthma and 30 percent had a member with additional breathing problems. Current issues with mold were reported by 19 percent of the residents, while 61 percent reported mold issues at some point in their tenancy.
“In addition, these roof repairs will provide a long-term solution in our efforts to address mold, eventually saving the City money later down the line so that we can further improve NYCHA housing,” said Mayor de Blasio.
By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).