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Mayor De Blasio commits $80M to combat NYCHA’s lead paint problem

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The administration will hire private contractors to examine 150,000 NYCHA apartments across the city

Wyckoff Gardens NYCHA Jim Henderson / Wikimedia Commons

The de Blasio administration is taking a major step toward eradicating lead paint from NYCHA developments across the city. At a press conference on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would hire private contractors who would use special equipment to monitor apartments, according to the New York Times.

The Mayor’s announcement however ups the number of NYCHA apartments possibly affected by lead paint. Previously the city had estimated that about 50,000 apartments in NYCHA housing had lead paint, but that figure has now gone up to 130,000. The city will spend about $80 million on this initiative, which will help create a database for apartments that do contain lead paint. Inspectors will visit each of these apartments to check whether they do (or do not) contain lead paint.

The city’s latest financial investment follows the revelation that the beleaguered housing agency needs $32 billion in repairs over the next five years to ensure that its housing stock is functioning smoothly. The city has committed $2 billion toward those repairs, and is now awaiting the appointment of a monitor who will oversee the disbursement of these funds.