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Comptroller: NYC Public Housing Needs Repairs

Comptroller: NYC Public Housing Needs Repairs
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Reports says NYCHA buildings plagued by peeling paint, cracks, holes and rodents

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer says the physical conditions at New York City Housing Authority buildings have gotten worse over recent years.

Stringer is releasing a report on Monday. It looks at data from the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development and a U.S. Census Bureau triennial survey of housing. The data covers a period from 2002 to 2011.

The report finds that overall, almost all housing in the city was in structurally decent condition in 2011. But it says the public housing had seen increases in issues, especially in comparison to market-rate housing. For example, when it came to heating equipment breakdowns, 11 percent of market-rate buildings had problems in 2011, compared to 27 percent of NYCHA buildings.

Other areas of concern included water leaks, broken plaster and peeling paint, cracks and holes in interior walls and ceilings, and rodents.

Eleven percent of owner-occupied buildings reported the presence of mice or rats in 2011, compared to 19 percent of market-rate buildings and 37 percent of NYCHA buildings. And not only was the problem worse in NYCHA buildings than in other ones, it had gotten worse in NYCHA buildings themselves, the report found, with 27 percent of them reporting mice or rats in 2002.

"Housing conditions at NYCHA have become a laundry list of tenant frustration, from broken windows and peeling paint, to faulty heaters and scurrying rats," Stringer said.

Stringer says it's vital to get funding to improve conditions, especially from the federal government.

"While much of New York City's housing stock remains in good condition and asset values have increased, significant pockets of our City's housing are deteriorating," he said. "We still have much work to do to ensure that every New Yorker has a safe place to call home."