Stringer: NYCHA wasted millions on roof repairs
by Salvatore Isola
Jul 31, 2019 | 1069 views | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An audit by Comptroller Scott Stringer found that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) wasted millions of taxpayer dollars in a roof replacement project.

“Our investigation uncovered that NYCHA wasted millions and is putting tens of millions more dollars at risk by installing new roofs and then botching inspections and ignoring its own warranty agreements,” Stringer said at a press conference outside Fort Greene’s Ingersoll Houses last week.

The audit inspected 35 NYCHA roofs and found that 19 roofs could cost $24.6 million to repair.

Of the inspected roofs, the report found deficient conditions on 88 percent of them, including sagging roofs, pools of standing water, and blistered surfaces.

“Faulty roofs can turn a home into a horror,” Stringer said. “When roofs are cracked, when ceilings leak, it spawns mildew and mold, creating unlivable and sickening conditions.”

The 35 inspected roofs were all replaced since 2000, and thus were under a 20-year warranty. However, NYCHA ignored the warranty and used taxpayer money to fund replacements.

In one instance on Staten Island, NYCHA wasted $3.7 million by replacing eight roofs that were under warranty.

“It’s outrageous,” Stringer exclaimed. “But it’s also part of a larger pattern.”

His report found that 98 percent of the time, NYCHA waived the opportunity to have repairs done for free under the warranty and instead “shoved the cost onto New York taxpayers.”

Out of 709 work orders, NYCHA invoked the warranty in just nine cases.

“At a time where every penny counts, NYCHA is essentially igniting money on fire by investing millions in roof repairs when it doesn’t have to,” Stringer said. “They’re letting private companies off the hook and sticking it to New York taxpayers and NYCHA tenants alike.”

Stringer called for Mayor Bill de Blasio to make leadership changes at the agency.

“This mayor should walk in today and fire them,” the comptroller said. “And then demand that they go through every single warranty and finally do something.”

Darold Burgess, tenant president at Ingersoll Houses, called NYCHA “a failed system.”

“I have seniors where it’s raining in their apartment,” he said. “It’s unfair. They shouldn’t have to live in dilapidated homes.”

In response, NYCHA said that it “agrees with most of the recommendations,” but there were “initiatives that were already underway” to enhance agency procedures. NYCHA added, “management was aware of some gaps in oversight.”

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