$13 Million Investment for Heating Emergencies in NYCHA Buildings

Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYCHA Chair & CEO, Shola Olatoye. Image Credit: NYC Mayor’s Office.

Facing the recent below-freezing temperatures, Mayor Bill de Blasio has committed to help with NYCHA’s response to heating emergencies and failing equipment with a substantial investment. On January 18, 2018, Mayor de Blasio announced a $13 million investment to assist the New York City Housing Authority response to heating outages and replace equipment. The investment will allow NYCHA to replace malfunctioning boiler systems, acquire mobile boilers for emergencies, hire repair staff, and repair windows to prevent heat loss.

This winter’s below-freezing temperatures not seen since 1961 and a massive snowstorm at the beginning of January has put a strain on many NYCHA buildings. Mayor de Blasio said: “All New Yorkers deserve heat and hot water. While NYCHA has been working around the clock to keep out boilers working, these record cold temperatures are hard on our aging heating systems. This investment will help us continue to respond to outages immediately, replace boilers in hardest hit buildings and keep tenants warm.”

NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye said: “This investment will address some of our most problematic infrastructure through this recent cold spell and also increase staffing so we can respond to outages faster.”

This winter, NYCHA will hire 57 repair staff to help respond to boiler outages, rent 3 mobile boilers to have on-hand for heating emergencies, and seal and repair 9,600 windows at NYCHA senior apartments. In preparation for next winter, NYCHA will replace 8 boiler plants at Union Avenue and Claremont Houses, install 7 gas-fired, winterized boilers at Patterson, Independence, and Pelham Parkway Houses, and buy 5 new mobile boilers.

NYCHA currently reports 13 heat and/or hot water outages in progress in various NYCHA buildings through the five boroughs. NYCHA provides daily updates online regarding elevator, gas, heat or hot water issues at developments.

NYCHA has invested nearly $300 million in heating and plumbing since 2014, and has received $109 million in grant from FEMA to repair or replace 67 boilers.

By: Dorichel Rodriguez (Dorichel  is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2017.)


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