Despite touting “major improvements” across various New York City Housing Authority developments that aim to curb the number of heat and hot water outages that tenants will have to endure this winter, more than 35,000 public housing residents have already been forced to face the cold without heat.
According to the Legal Aid Society, records indicate that 35,475 NYCHA tenants have been without heat or hot water during various points since October 18, reports the New York Post. Even on the day that the city announced the upgrades to NYCHA heating units, nearly 4,000 residents were faced with outages.
Per the Post, NYCHA officials are insisting that the number of tenants impacted by outages since October 1 is much lower than its online records indicate, blaming data duplications and planned outages to conduct repair work. However, the authority wasn’t able to say how many residents were actually impacted.
“The Authority’s inability to seamlessly provide these critical utilities is a breach of law,” said Legal Aid Society spokesman Redmond Haskins. “We hope next month that a court will grant our preliminary injunction which will allow us to hold NYCHA in contempt each time these outages occur.”
Last winter, more than 80 percent of NYCHA residents were forced to endure heat outages that lasted 48 hours on average during cold fronts between October 2017 and January 2018, eventually resulting in Governor Andrew Cuomo declaring a state of emergency for NYCHA.