As heat season is just kicking into full gear, the federal monitor for the New York City Housing Authority on Wednesday approved a plan to spend $450 million of state money on boiler and elevator upgrades across 35 developments.
The plan imagines work on boilers to be done in two phases, the first of which will begin immediately with construction expected to be completed by December 2022. No timeline was provided for the second phase of replacements.
With this schedule, tenants in phase I apartments will face parts of three cold seasons before reliable boilers are put in place. Tenants in phase II apartments will likely face many more. (See the chart below for the list of developments.)
The developments that are receiving upgrades were chosen based on need. As of publication, 49 NYCHA buildings had heat or hot water outages, affecting a total of 9,122 residents. Some of those outages were related to planned repair work. However, outages at 21 buildings were unplanned and affected 3,831 residents, There were no elevator outages.
None of the buildings with current outages will receive upgrades under the plan released Thursday.
The funding agreement is a major milestone in a multi-year saga to get state funds to the crumbling housing authority. The state originally allocated $200 million in 2017 for repairs at NYCHA and a second $250 million was allocated in April 2018, bringing the total to $450 million.
The state earlier allocated $100 million in 2015, allowing Assemblymembers to spend the money on small projects. As of 2018, the housing authority had spent $90 million but 57 percent of the planned work was incomplete but according to a WNYC analysis.
The later allocation of $450 million was repeatedly held up as it was revealed NYCHA lied about lead testing in federal documents and federal prosecutors with the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York investigated the housing authority over its failure to remediate lead paint hazards. residents pushed for more oversight. Governor Andrew Cuomo refused to release the funds despite pushback from City Hall, and instead pushed for the establishment of an independent monitor.
In February 2019, HUD named Bart Schwartz the federal monitor to oversee NYCHA.
Housing advocates have been infuriated by the delay in the state delivering its promised funds. “It’s disgraceful,” said Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference. “This should have been a high priority for both administrations to reach agreement as quickly as possible in the interest of restoring state and decent conditions for public housing residents.”
“Over the years it’s unbelievable how long is gone on, but we’re happy now that it’s finally released,” she said.
“A project of this magnitude requires planning, design, engineering, due diligence, a procurement process among many additional steps and procedures all of which we take very seriously,” said Schwartz in a statement.
NYCHA has engaged Jacobs Project Management oversee boiler replacements at six of the phase I developments and is currently working on outlining the scope of work for the management firm The same firm will also oversee the elevator replacement work.
The announcement mentions that NYCHA is considering using design-build for the boiler replacement projects. Design-build is an approach to capital work that allows the housing authority to contract with one firm for design and construction, streamlining the process and potentially eliminating delays and cost overages. The state Assembly passed a measure granting design-build authority in 2018 but that act has not yet been signed by the governor. Still, NYCHA says it is actively looking at how it can implement the new procedure and is looking forward to using it.
The news of the $450 million does not include the additional $100 million in funding for NYCHA that was approved by the state legislature this spring.
This is far too long coming, but @NYS_DASNY & the NYCHA Fed Monitor approved @NYCHA’s use of $450 million we included in prior-year State budgets to replace 165 elevators & 108 boilers, including 6 boilers at @SmithHouses. Now let’s also release the $100 million we added in June. pic.twitter.com/kE1qRjpBBa
— NYS Senator Brian Kavanagh 卡范納 (@BrianKavanaghNY) November 7, 2019
“We will be working with our New York State partners and the Federal Monitor to develop a plan for this additional funding,” said Chief Communications Officer Barbara Brancaccio.
The Project List
|Site||Phase I||Type||Number of elevators or boilers||Projected Budget||Project Start Date||Anticipated Construction End Date|
|830 Amsterdam||I||Boilers||2||$4,452,000||October, 2019||December, 2022|
|Berry||I||Boilers||3||$6,678,000||October, 2019||December, 2022|
|Eastchester||I||Boilers||4||$8,904,000||October, 2019||December, 2022|
|Jackson||I||Boilers||4||$6,466,000||October, 2019||December, 2022|
|Marboro||I||Boilers||6||$13,356,000||October, 2019||December, 2022|
|Pink||I||Boilers||6||$12,190,000||October, 2019||December, 2022|
|Tilden||I||Boilers||4||$6,380,256||October, 2019||December, 2022|
|Ocean Hill Apartments||I||Boilers||2||$7,380,063||October, 2019||December, 2022|
|Marble Hill||I||Boilers||6||$13,737,600||October, 2019||December, 2022|
|Atlantic Terminal||I||Elevators||3||$1,855,000||October, 2019||August, 2022|
|Carey Gardens||I||Elevators||9||$3,498,000||October, 2019||July, 2022|
|Coney Island (4&5)||I||Elevators||6||$2,226,000||October, 2019||February, 2022|
|Coney Island (1B)||I||Elevators||3||$1,908,000||October, 2019||July, 2022|
|High Bridge Gardens||I||Elevators||12||$12,720,000||October, 2019||February, 2022|
|Butler||I||Elevators||18||$14,400,000||October, 2019||August, 2022|
|Mitchel||I||Elevators||20||$11,660,000||October, 2019||December, 2022|
|Queensbridge North||I||Elevators||49||$21,730,000||October, 2019||July, 2022|
|Richmond Terrace||I||Elevators||12||$12,720,000||October, 2019||January, 2022|
|Unity Plaza||I||Elevators||16||$6,996,000||October, 2019||May, 2022|
|Roosevelt I & II||II||Boilers||4||$9,158,400||TBD||TBD|
|UPACA (Site 5)||II||Boilers||2||$4,579,200||TBD||TBD|
|Van Dyke I & II||II||Boilers||5||$11,448,000||TBD||TBD|