Unsafe conditions in the city's public housing developments and homeless shelters may have led to high blood lead levels among residents, the New York Times reported based on an investigation being conducted by United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara.
A federal judge has currently issued an order to the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH) to submit information on elevated blood lead levels among residents and about unhealthy living conditions in NYCHA buildings.
The DOH had earlier declined to provide this information to prosecutors without a judge's order.
Many of the NYCHA buildings were constructed in the 1930s and 40s and likely still contain lead paint. Work orders to remove them have been moving forward very slowly, according to the Times.
The agency on its part has said that maintenance and repair work is impossible without more funding. And here's where it gets even more murky. Preet Bharara's office is also investigating whether NYCHA and the city's Department of Homeless Services falsified documents to get federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
At a meeting Wednesday Shola Olatoye, the CEO of NYCHA declined to answer the Times' questions on the matter.