Comptroller Study Finds Majority of Lobbies in NYCHA Buildings Have Unsecured Doors

Image Credit: Office of the Comptroller.

NYCHA residences throughout the five boroughs have serious security lapses from propped open and broken doors. On October 12, 2018, the City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released the results of an investigative survey on the exterior door security at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments. Between July and August 2018, auditors visited 299 NYCHA developments and observed the conditions of exterior doors. The auditors observed 4,551 doors in development in the five boroughs.

The investigation found that 195 housing developments citywide were affected by unsecured doors and over 1,000 entrance, side, and rear doors were propped open with ropes and chains, had broken latches and missing parts, or were otherwise in unsecured conditions. A total of 1,023 of the building doors were broken, tampered with, or unlockable, which leaves the developments more susceptible to intruders and safety concerns. Auditors also found that only 53 percent of entrances for developments in all five boroughs had cameras placed by the entrance to monitor these otherwise security lapses, further putting the residents at risk.

Manhattan developments had the highest percentage of open doors, with 37 percent of 761 of front doors and 33 percent out of 269 rear or side doors found unlocked. In the Bronx had 24 percent of the 767 front doors were open and 20 percent of 276 rear or side doors were unlocked. In Staten Island, 19 percent of the 108 front doors were open and 21 percent of 28 rear or side doors were unlocked. In Queens, 18 percent of the 470 front doors were open and 9 percent of 81 rear or side doors were unlocked. In Brooklyn, 17 percent of the developments’ 1,432 front doors were open and 14 percent of 359 rear or side doors were unlocked.

As a result of the investigation, Comptroller Stringer recommended that NYCHA repairs and replaces all damaged exterior doors, regularly inspect all exterior doors and maintain all doors and locks, ensures that security cameras are operational and located in publicly accessible entrances and exits, and conducts a review of its security and maintenance systems and promptly alert maintenance staff of unsecured conditions for a timely repairs.

“All New Yorkers should feel safe in their own homes – but hundreds of broken latches, busted locks, and doors held open by chains and rope leave NYCHA families without that basic sense of security,” said Comptroller Stringer. “Unsecured doors are unacceptable. NYCHA must promptly secure, repair and replace broken doors.”

To read the Comptroller Stringer’s results from the investigative survey, click here.


By: Samantha Albanese (Samantha is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2019).



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