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Cuomo declares state of emergency on NYCHA to expedite repairs

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Issuing an emergency declaration allows for quicker repairs to the most critical issues facing public housing residents

UPDATE 9/13/18: On Wednesday, a Manhattan U.S. attorney extended the deadline for applicants looking to become a court-appointed independent monitor that will oversee the plagued New York City Housing Authority, reports the New York Daily News. This is the second time that the deadline to appoint an independent monitor has been extended.

Back in June, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYCHA entered into a consent decree with U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman to agree to the appointment of a NYCHA monitor, with an initial deadline of July 11. However, the deadline was later pushed back to September 12.

Now the deadline is tied to the date the consent decree is approved by the judge in the case. Manhattan Federal Judge William Pauley has expressed reservations about the proposed agreement, and the city, NYCHA and prosecutors are scheduled to press their case during a Sept. 26 court hearing.

UPDATE 4/3/18: Governor Andrew Cuomo officially declared a state of emergency on the embattled New York City Housing Authority, a month after he announced his intention to do so, the New York Times reports.

As part of this declaration, Cuomo has called for the appointment of an independent monitor who will oversee expedited repairs at NYCHA facilities citywide. The monitor is to be appointed within the next 60 days, and will be selected by the mayor, the City Council speaker, and the president of the Citywide Council of Presidents, a group of tenant leaders that represent NYCHA residents.

This monitor will also oversee the disbursement of the recently awarded $250 million in funds to carry out repairs. City officials called on the governor to release these funds to NYCHA yesterday, but now these funds, and previous state funds allocated to NYCHA will be overseen by this new monitor.

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to declare a state of emergency at New York City Housing Authority in order to expedite much-needed repair work, reports the New York Post.

Last month, four City Council members called upon Cuomo to meet with local elected officials to discuss additional funding to get faulty boilers and heating systems at NYCHA buildings repaired quickly and also requested that the state provide limited oversight of the housing agency.

“NYCHA is in a crisis and I stand with the residents on this,” said Cuomo in an interview with NY1. “The answer can’t be to NYCHA residents, it’s going to take us three years to turn on the heat. The answer can’t be, well, we don’t really know if your child is in an apartment with lead poisoning.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio had committed to investing $200 million to replace and repair boilers and heating systems at 20 NYCHA developments but the project would take until the end of 2022 to complete. Governor Cuomo stated that there needs to be a “real solution” for NYCHA’s myriad issues that isn’t going to take three years to address.

No word yet on when he plans to issue the declaration of emergency.