De Blasio Administration will focus on reducing rat population through different extermination measures. On April 17, 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new rat extermination plan for the NYCHA’s ten most rat-infested developments. The extermination plan is part of the Mayor’s $32 million Neighborhood Rat Reduction Program to reduce rat populations in the most infested City neighborhoods: Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Chinatown, East Village, and Lower East Side in Manhattan, and Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. This plan is also furthers the de Blasio Administration’s goal to preserve and strengthen public housing.
The NYCHA developments targeted by the plan are Bushwick, Hylan, and Marcy in Brooklyn; Butler, Morris I, Morris II, Morrisania, and Webster in the Bronx; the Riis I and Riis II in Manhattan. Approximately 23,000 residents live in these developments.
The extermination plan will attack the rats’ food sources and burrows to reduce rat populations and reproduction. A dry-ice abatement treatment will be used to plug rat burrows. NYCHA will hire full-time exterminators for the developments to administer the dry ice treatments. An environmentally friendly rodenticide will also be used to reduce rat burrows. The City will provide new smaller waste containers that are more compatible with NYCHA’s trash chutes. The new containers will prevent chutes from clogging and reduce trash from being deposited elsewhere. Dirt floors in the developments’ basements will be replaced with concrete to keep rats out of the buildings.
Mayor de Blasio states that this plan will “[launch] an all-out offensive to dramatically reduce the rat population at [the] developments and improve the quality of life for residents.” NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo shared the Mayor’s sentiments and stated that the Mayor’s Rat Reduction Program has provided NYCHA with the resources and support to reduce infestations. Mustaciuolo also stated that NYCHA has been working with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department of Sanitation, and NYCHA residents to take control of the rat problem.
Click here to read the Mayor’s Press Release.
By: May Vutrapongvatana (May is a CityLaw Intern and a New York Law School Student, Class of 2019.)