[Update]: The de Blasio administration has announced that it will be taking new measures to expedite heating system upgrades at New York City Housing Authority buildings. The repairs were slated to wrap up in 2022, but after reviewing NYCHA’s capital program, the administration was able to identify ways to speed up repairs and shorten the length of time by 8 to 20 months (depending on the size of the heating system).
To expedite, NYCHA will consider fewer submissions from designers during the design phase, will shave months off its procurement phase, and will work with the Department of Buildings to streamline the inspection and approval process.
“Our investment in new heating systems goes right to the heart of the biggest problems NYCHA residents face, and will make a difference thousands of them will feel,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are cutting through red tape to expedite these critically needed repairs for tenants, and urge our state partners to do the same by authorizing design-build immediately.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo is planning to issue an emergency declaration at NYCHA to expedite critical NYCHA repairs, after criticizing Mayor de Blasio’s initial three-year timeframe.
On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to invest $200 million to replace and repair boilers and heating systems at 20 New York City Housing Authority developments.
The investment will benefit approximately 45,000 NYCHA residents and will replace outdated heating systems with more modern technology.
This winter alone has proved that the investment is needed, as several NYCHA buildings were plagued by heat outages that kept the city’s repair crews busy, to say the least. The New York Times reports that within the past two days, there have been either heat or hot water outages in six different developments across Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan.
Per Mayor de Blasio, the replacement project would take until the end of 2022 to complete, however, City Council speaker Corey Johnson says that the proposed time frame is way too long.
“Tenants at these developments that have been identified don’t have four winters to wait to get fixed boilers,” said Johnson in a statement to reporters outside of a City Council meeting. However, NYCHA officials says that it takes roughly three to four years to get a new boiler designed, constructed, and finally installed.
Before the investment can be added to the city’s capital spending plan, it must first obtain City Council approval. A hearing is scheduled for next week.