Pro Bono News
Nearly 90 Percent of NYCHA Apartments Lost Heat, Hot Water During Winter (NY)
Sunday, August 11, 2019
- New York Post
Nearly 90 Percent of NYCHA Apartments Lost Heat, Hot Water During Winter
"NYCHA developments suffered heat and hot-water outages more than 3,500 times this past winter, leaving 339,000 public-housing residents — or four out of five — in the cold, troubling new statistics show.
The outages struck 259 of the embattled New York City Housing Authority’s 326 developments between Oct. 1, 2018, and May 31, 2019, according to data obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request.
Nearly 400,000 New Yorkers live in NYCHA’s 174,000 apartments and more than 150,000 of those homes — or 87% — lost heat or hot water at some point during the winter season.
“This data again demonstrates NYCHA’s daily struggle to ensure that public-housing residents have access to working heat and hot water,” said Lucy Newman, a lawyer with the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society, which filed the FOIL request.
“As the landlord, NYCHA has a legal and moral obligation to ensure that these necessary utilities are functioning properly.”
The figures show there were 3,559 outages of heat and hot water at NYCHA developments during the winter: 2,341 outages that nixed hot water and 1,218 instances where the heat stopped working.
More than half of the outages, 1,934, were unplanned, the data shows. Even those that were planned are supposed to occur during warmer months.
NYCHA’s records show the outages were most frequent at the Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side, where heat or hot water went out 186 times for at least some residents during the winter..."