Wrath Of The Scumlords: NYCHA Reneges On Recent City Funding With Shitty Roof Renovation And Secret Water Toxicity.

 

https://i1.wp.com/www.gkcindustries.com/docs/GKCIndustries/Lafayette%20Houses/aerial%20-%20lafayette%20houses.jpgThe Lafayette Houses. Storm resilient roofs not included.

Brooklyn, N.Y.

NY Daily News: NYCHA signs off on botched Brooklyn roof repairs that allowed water pooling

A major rehab effort failed to fix the roof of a building at a Brooklyn housing development, but NYCHA still signed off on the job as complete — just one of many failures noted in a city audit to be released Monday.

So when it rained this past Nov. 30, about 5 inches of water pooled on the roof of Building Five at the Lafayette Houses in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The pooling, which remained two days later, can cause leaks, and it’s just the type of problem the rehab of all roofs in the Brooklyn development was supposed to address.

City Controller Scott Stringer’s audit describes a pattern of ineptitude in NYCHA’s struggle to repair its aging buildings. Of NYCHA’s 320 developments, 270 are more than 30 years old and 114 were built before 1967. Lafayette, for example, opened in 1962, the year John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Lafayette was part of a $300 million, three-year effort by Mayor de Blasio to fix roofs throughout public housing. NYCHA paid Universal Construction Resources $10.9 million to rehab roofs on all seven Lafayette buildings.

After the November rainstorm, Stringer’s auditors randomly checked Building Five and found the pooled water. Two days later they found it was still there, contrary to industry standards that require water to drain completely within 48 hours.

Stringer’s team also found minor ponding on the roofs of several other NYCHA developments that had been certified as repaired, including the Sumner Houses in Brooklyn, King Towers in Manhattan and South Beach Houses in Staten Island.

Lafayette was part of a $300 million, three-year effort by Mayor de Blasio to fix roofs throughout public housing. NYCHA paid Universal Construction Resources $10.9 million to rehab roofs on all seven Lafayette buildings.

NYCHA could provide no proof that it had actually inspected the work on Building Five roof two years after the repair was completed, even though the warranty required semiannual inspections.

And because NYCHA didn’t identify the problem within the one-year warranty, the taxpayers are on the hook for the lousy repair job.

This is only the start of the nearly half century long neglect of NYCHA housing, the real affordable housing program. And true to their nature when it comes to actually handling the effects of it, they botch another job they are entrusted with.

This recent oversight and criminally incompetent offense comes just months after a one billion dollars and 10 year renovation budget to repair all of the buildings leaky roofs. But after this recent revelation which came out 10 months later after the fact, the residents of these dilapidated buildings and decrepit, neglected apartments probably will look at this allocation with collective apprehension. Mostly it will entail buying extra pots and pans. Hey, maybe they will be dispensed as new amenities to go along with the free Wifi as part of the encompassing new budget.

With this exhibition of gross indifference the spread of more mold and other infrastructure damage from shorting light fixtures to ceiling collapses and wall damage leading to new egress for rodents and roaches of unusual size. It’s going to take another 300 million to fix the damages caused by the roof that they dismissively thought was sound.

How can something of such expenditure and magnitude, especially coming from an administration that is so (but mostly feigns) concern for the less fortunate and from an government organization that is indebted and responsible for the tenancy. Well, look no further than a decision by NYCHA commissioner and technocrat Shoya Olatoye leveled on the Department of Investigation. Ms. Olatoye decided to kill funding for city’s independent inspector general in charge of regulating the housing authority just to save a comparably measly 200 grand. The timing of this decision is equally awful and suspicious.

NY Daily News: NYCHA rejects funding boost for inspector general who discovered fraud, corruption at agency

Last month, Housing Authority Chairwoman Shola Olatoye notified DOI Commissioner Mark Peters she would not grant his request for an extra $199,000, bringing the NYCHA IG’s total budget from $3.3 million to $3.5 million.

In an April 13 letter to Olatoye obtained by the News, Peters notes that last year his office uncovered $6.5 million in fraud, opened 270 investigations and developed 53 criminal cases involving NYCHA staff and tenants.

The inspector general has also issued three critical reports about NYCHA mismanagement, including a stunning revelation that a caretaker falsely claimed smoke detectors were functioning shortly before a fire engulfed an apartment and killed two children.

This may be why this leaky roof report is so late.

Housing Authority spokeswoman Zodet Negron made clear the agency’s historic money crunch was the rationale for the decision. “NYCHA is facing crippling budget cuts ahead that will have a direct impact on the quality of life of our residents, Negron said.

So, the way to save and reallocated funding is to fire the guy responsible for pointing out the profligate waste and corruption in the system.

The answer to such opaqueness and obfuscation being employed and encouraged in the NYCHA higher echelons is to take matters in your own hands. Without resorting to threats to city workers like what happened recently. But even that is, of course unsurprisingly, a tall order. Take the trials and tribulations of reporter Louis Flores who runs the local borough blog Progress Queens, he has been chronicling for few years on the amount of lead in the water service of lines of NYCHA buildings via FOIL requests and discovered a disturbing increase in the toxicity and lead levels over the last four years which included the over threshold amount of 15 parts per billion, which was the amount found in the drinking water of the city of Flint, Michigan.

Mr. Flores found 13 housing projects that exceeded the safe amount from 10 to 100 times.

  • Metro Plaza North, Spanish Harlem, Manhattan : 1,249 ppb
  • Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Crown Heights, Brooklyn : 947 ppb
  • Berry Houses, Staten Island : 675 ppb
  • Forest Hills Co-Op, Forest Hills, Queens : 541 ppb
  • Vladeck II Houses, Lower East Side, Manhattan : 99 ppb
  • White Houses, Spanish Harlem, Manhattan: 89 ppb
  • Ravenswood Houses, Astoria, Queens : 88 ppb
  • Vladeck Houses, Lower East Side, Manhattan : 53 ppb
  • Haber Houses, Coney Island, Brooklyn : 39 ppb
  • Drew-Hamilton Houses, Harlem, Manhattan : 37 ppb
  • Woodside Houses, Woodside, Queens : 32 ppb
  • Queensbridge South Houses, Long Island City, Queens : 17 ppb
  • Vladeck Houses, Lower East Side, Manhattan : 17 ppb

Mr. Flores also found in his request of many buildings below the lead contamination amount but still above 5 ppb, which according to reports from the Flint scandal, is still toxic enough to be a health hazard.

This even got the attention of Attorney General Preet Bharara, as it got included in his investigation on de Blasio’s multifaceted and multi-pronged pay to play shadow government administration.

Alas, A.G. Bharara got sacked by Figurehead Trump on the advice of his shyster advisers which put the end of the case of the Teflon mayor away for good. And now the Department of Environmental Protection has watered down (absolutely pun intended) the most recent FOIL request by Progress Queens with redactions and incompletions, with the standout refusal for determining water service toxicity in a housing project in East Harlem. Kismet works in amazing ways, especially for vile scummy people.

So now the residents of the projects have to deal with water they don’t want from the skies seeping from their apt. ceilings to the tainted water they need to drink, cook and bathe.

It ceases to amaze the outright stupidity and arrogance that continues unabated regarding NYCHA management, especially from the top. And especially in this maniacal age of real estate speculation. For even the technocrats at NYCHA want a seat at the table of the Gentrification Industrial Complex. Mr. Flores thoroughly reported last year how certain NYCHA buildings got repairs before contracts were awarded to a consortium of private developers and their shell organizations. Which adds tons of credence to the author’s theory that the gradual destruction of public housing and the displacement and disenfranchisement of poor people is definitely intentional. Which is immensely helped by the transparent duplicity of Mayor De Faustio and his continued boot licking to the real estate pogrom.

As for NYCHA, it may be the biggest scumlord of all. Each year there is the list for the 100 worst landlords, which for some reason, the same people are on the fucking chart year after year instead of being banished from owning and running buildings or serving a prison sentence. But NYCHA is a government service. It’s a service that should be taken for granted like social security or universal health care if it existed. It should be treated with the same reverence and care as a military base and even more than any embassy house. And it continues to betray the citizenry as if management feels they aren’t worthy of dignity or security because of what they are deemed to be worth.

This is not a cynical rant, it is a veritable fact. And this maltreatment is going to continue for another decade going by these egregious and incompetent official acts.

Comptroller Stringer should give his endorsement to Bill De Faustio a extremely long second thought.

 

 

 

 

 

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