NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City’s Housing Authority held a one-day “Fix Blitz,” tackling thousands of open work orders citywide.
The initiative comes as residents in two complexes were without water and gas this week.
NYCHA paid dozens of workers Saturday overtime, pooling about 15 to one complex in each borough to tackle a backlog of requests like sink clogs and paint problems. It’s part of a $20 million repair initiative.
General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo says the goal was to complete about two-thirds of 1,800 outstanding repairs.
“Our instructions to staff are when you go into an apartment with a work order, if you see other conditions that need to be addressed, address those conditions,” he said.
Albert Mercado had his leaky faucet fixed, but there was much more to be done.
“Since 2012 we have had a major heat problem in the bathroom,” he said. “We need to find out what the problem is.”
Albena Walker showed CBS2’s Lisa Rozner roach riddled walls and leaks.
“I haven’t gotten them to come to my apartment to do anything,” the Baruch Houses resident said. “When I asked them to replace my door frame and fix the cylinder, I was told I could purchase one.”
Walker even displayed unfulfilled work orders which were incorrectly listed as closed. CBS2 spoke with a NYCHA maintenance worker who asked to conceal his identity. He acknowledged the city has a problem dealing with repairs, and there’s a reason why.
“If they used the money to employ more people to do the work, the work will get done faster,” the worker said. “If we was allowed to have more overtime, we’d get the work done faster.”
“Every day you got people working here all day long, sometimes extra four to five hours a day.”
The blitz comes the same week that Mayor Bill de Blasio met with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and just before the deadline to report to a federal judge about the city’s handling of the agency.
That judge has raised the possibility of the feds even taking over the embattled agency.
Mustaciuolo insists he feels confident the city can handle the agency on their own. Meanwhile, more residents wait for long needed repairs.
The city says it’ll evaluate the blitz to see if they’ll do it again.