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NYCHA-directed criticism persists re tenant heat outages

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2018 | Landlord-tenant Law |

We preface today’s blog post with a nutshell summary of the key details relevant to New York City’s annual “Heat Season.” That period commences on October 1 each year and runs through May 31.

City owners of residential buildings are required to adhere to specified heat standards during that timeframe. Most importantly, they entail this:

  • Unit temperatures set to at least 68 degrees Fahrenheitbeing6 a.m. and 10 p.m. if outside temperature dips below 55F
  • Temperature of at least 62F inside units between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., regardless of outside temperature

Complying with those requirements is apparently a proposition that is easier said than done for the New York City Housing Authority. NYCHA is tasked with providing affordable and safe housing to hundreds of thousands of income-eligible city residents living in myriad public housing developments spanning the metro.

It would be gross understatement to simply state that NYCHA officials, city Mayor Bill de Blasio and others are suffering from a bit of adverse press relating to a single heat-linked issue.

In fact, they are currently under a withering spotlight that shines acutely on one glaring shortcoming.

That is this: no heat.

At least, that has reportedly been the case intermittently for legions of tenants in NYCHA units since the annual heat directives kicked in. As noted in one in-depth article probing the matter, “More than 35,000 NYCHA residents have been without heat and hot water” for varied periods since October 1.

That yields a reality that officials flat-out don ‘t want to hear or be dealing with, given many chronicled heat-related woes that befell huge numbers of NYCHA tenants last year. A high-profile campaign prior to this year’s Heat Season stressed many material improvements made to NHCHA properties that would supposedly address and improve matters this year.

There is no quick and easy fix to the problem, say many commentators, including voices from within the NYCHA. That body’s general manager noted late last month that the entity’s old and challenged infrastructure “has been starved of the investment and resources it desperately needs.”

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