Every three years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a survey that takes a comprehensive look into the conditions of New York City’s housing stock, and the most recent report illustrate that though there has been an overall improvement in the quality of the city’s housing stock, physical conditions at New York City Housing Authority developments have continued to deteriorate.
“The condition of NYCHA’s public housing units remains significantly worse on average than that of comparable privately owned rental units,” says the survey. Conditions in NYCHA buildings were found to have little to no improvement since the last Housing and Vacancy Survey was conducted in 2014, and the most significant change over those years have been the increase in reports of heat breakdowns.
The most commonly reported issues were peeling paint/broken plaster (reported by 41 percent of respondents), water leaks (up from 28 percent in 2014 to 30 percent), and cracks in ceilings and walls (this actually decreased from 31 percent to 29 percent). Meanwhile, the rest of the city’s housing stocks saw improvements in its most commonly reported categories.
“The growing gap in building quality between NYCHA and other rental housing units should deepen the urgency of efforts to improve conditions at NYCHA,” says the survey. However, a spokesperson for NYCHA suggested that the findings of the study correlate to the federal government’s neglect for public housing and the agency’s diminishing resources.
“For decades the federal government has continued to cut support for public housing leaving NYCHA with $32 billion in need today,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to Crain’s. “This study demonstrates the results of the government walking away from public housing.”
In response to the survey, NYCHA stated that it is working on a plan, called NextGenNYCHA to chip away at its capital needs. In March, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a “state of emergency” for NYCHA in an effort to expedite repairs.
- NYCHA’s Physical Conditions Remain the Worst in the City [Citizens Budget Commission]
- As city’s rental stock improved, NYCHA’s got worse [Crain’s]