Red Hook Houses

Sadef Ali Kully

The Red Hook Houses, the largest NYCHA development in Brooklyn.

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NYCHA says it plans to aggressively clean their developments and get information to their tenants about social distancing and preventive methods through email, text, tenant associations, robo-calling and multilingual flyers. 

“Through our robust Community Engagement and Partnerships department and programs, we are making ongoing individual phone calls to our vulnerable population to confirm first-hand that they understand the precautions regarding COVID-19 and to identify whether they have any special needs at this time. We are also making sure that residents have access to food, medication, and necessary health and social services, and we are making them aware of the city’s mental health counseling services, available by phone, if they need help coping with social distancing, stress or anxiety,” wrote the NYCHA spokesperson in an email with City Limits.

“We have daily calls with the Department for the Aging (DFTA), Department of Health, and other city agencies to monitor policies related to the senior population. DFTA’s staff, along with the city’s Public Engagement unit, are working to ensure meals continue for seniors who can no longer attend. Additionally, we speak directly to all [Tenant Associations] presidents and leadership to exchange relevant updates regarding services for vulnerable residents.”

COVID-19

CDC

As New York confronts a deadly pandemic, City Limits brings you coverage about how the disease—and the response—will affect the most vulnerable. Read our coverage here. If you have a story tip, email coronavirus@citylimits.org

NYCHA said during the state of emergency, they have been communicating protocols directly to employees and residents through robocalls, emails, and posting regular updates to their public-facing websites. They have also distributed posters across NYCHA’s 2,200 buildings – in lobbies, elevators, and individual floors and the signage has been translated in multiple languages for residents who are Non-Native English speakers.  NYCHA said their Customer Contact Center is available around the clock (24/7).  

NYCHA houses at least 380,000 in its 174,000 public-housing apartments spread across 2,351 buildings in 316 developments.

Some NYCHA residents say they have seen some cleaning done but others see no changes and business as usual.

In Red Hook Houses East, a section of the city’s largest public housing complex that has over 2,000 residents, there are cleaner hallways, according to community activist and resident Karen Blondel.

However, other NYCHA tenants in Red Hook Houses West said they have not had a cleaning in over four months. “Our building has been filthy for months. I have three kids and I still have to go to work at Ikea,” said Dougie, a Red Hook Houses West resident walking back to her apartment (who did not want to use her real name). “I got no text or email from them. The cleaning is news for me but it is not happening here.”

Here is a break down of what NYCHA tenants can expect over the coming weeks, according to the authority: 

  • NYCHA staff will be increasing the frequency of daily cleaning across our developments, specifically on high-traffic and high-touch areas such as building entrance doors, elevator controls, mailboxes, and trash chute doors.
  • Starting on March 11th, NYCHA hired an outside vendor to deep clean senior developments and other campuses. The vendor will be using a two-step process which is a deep clean and a bio/eco-friendly protective coating that kills germs before they attach to the surface and typically lasts for 90 days. The vendor will conduct the process on a 30-day cycle. 
  • Effective immediately, all planned outages have been suspended until further notice. The agency does have planned outages during major repairs in housing complexes. 
  • Residential evictions have been halted while the city is under a state of emergency. 
  • For those experiencing rental hardships, NYCHA tenants who face a loss of income should request an “Interim Recertification for any decrease in income that will last more than two months by accessing the NYCHA Self-Service Portal at https://selfserve.nycha.info or requesting a paper form from your Property Management office,” according to the newsletter.
  • NYCHA’s Administrative Hearing Office has postponed all cases for two weeks. The hearing will be reevaluated to assess if the postponement should continue. 
  • All in-person public meetings and events at NYCHA offices and developments have been postponed for 30 days.
  • Brooklyn and Bronx Customer Contact Walk-in Centers are closed to the public, effective Monday. 

What a NYCHA tenant should do if they think they are infected: 

  • Stay home and call your doctor if you have symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, fever, sore throat. 
  • If you do not feel better in 3-4 days, seek care from your doctor. 
  • If you need help getting medical care, call 311 
  • NYC will provide care regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. 
  • Visit on.nyc.gov/mynycha to download the MyNYCHA app and for more information about COVID-19, visit nyc.gov/coronavirus

2 thoughts on “NYCHA Discusses Plans to Protect Residents from the Virus

  1. Business As Usual

    The Novel Coronavirus also called COVID19 has taken the world and turned it upside down. Countries such as China, Italy, and South Korea have seen high numbers of its citizens infected and death tolls in the thousands.
    The United States is now trending to be apart of the many countries that are having trouble dealing with this pandemic. New York arguably the greatest city in the world has not been spared. With schools closed, restaurants turning to take out only, add in a slew of closures to other businesses you can say New York is in panic mode.
    Every where except NYCHA. NYCHA has been slow to say the least with its response. In fact in an email to tenants NYCHA residents were informed only emergency work orders would be done. Later on employees were told something completely different and that the whole email was a typo. NYCHA has been known to not care for tenants and now it’s coming to light that they don’t care about their employees either. Buildings are not being sanitized at all according to the agencies claims. Also it’s maintenance workers are still conducting business as usual without any protections. No mask, no gloves, no soap, no hand sanitizer. Now this is terrible for its many tenants in the city. The virus is being spread rapidly and reducing exposure is key to stop the spread according to health officials. NYCHA workers however are the exception and business is as usual in an extremely unusual world. With many of those infected still not tested and many not showing symptoms the virus can be spread extremely fast and undetected. NYCHA residents are at a huge risk as long as it’s running under business as usual.

  2. This is 100 % accurate. If anyone thinks that NYCHA treats its residents bad you should see how they treat there Maintainance Workers. It’s bad enough that the contract we were given is a complete joke and a smack in the face basically. We are the frontline and backbone of the workforce and will never be compensated or even recognized for it. That aside I can tell you first hand as far as repairs go nothing today is different then it was. It is a complete JOKE.
    What I can’t understand is how NO ONE has clue what’s going on. NOT THE GOVENOR , MAYOR , NEWS , ———NO ONE !!!!!!!!!

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