Testimony On NYCHA’s Winter Preparedness Efforts

Published on January 15, 2020, 3:56 pm
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Today, NYCHA Chairman & CEO Greg Russ will testify before the New York City Council Committee on Public Housing on the Authority’s plan and efforts to prevent and address heat and hot water outages – as outlined in the Heating Action Plan approved by the Federal Monitor in early December, 2019. NYCHA Chief of Staff Joey Koch and Vice President of Intergovernmental Relations Brian Honan will also be present to answer questions.

“NYCHA has worked throughout the year to prepare for the heat season, and has made substantial improvements to its operations as well as strategic investments, from new heating plants and systems to an improved staffing model,” said Chairman & CEO Russ. “These efforts are driven by a fundamental premise: residents must be at the center of everything we do.”

Chair Russ is expected to point to the different measures that have contributed to the successful reduction in heat service outages. Those measures include the Authority’s aggressive preventative maintenance, 24-hour staffing, the deployment of roving repair teams, staged mobile boilers, and a 24/7 Heat Desk to monitor potential service disruptions in real time.

There have been 387 heat outages in this year’s heating season – a 35.6 percent drop from the number of outages registered at this point in last year’s heating season. For the current season, heat service has been restored at NYCHA developments in an average of eight hours, which is well within the 12-hour standard established for such restorations under the Heating Action Plan.

Today, 95 percent of heating outages have been resolved within 24 hours and there have been no heating outages lasting more than 48 hours. That improvement stands in stark contrast to the 2017-18 season, when there were 352 heating outages that took longer than 48 hours to resolve.

Increased support from City Hall in the form of $20 million in operational funding has enabled the Authority to replace 500 critical heating components, and the Authority has boosted its staffing ranks for the winter months – adding 70 heating plant technicians, 12 full-time plumbing teams, and 8 temporary plumbing teams to its Heating Management Services Department.

NYCHA Chairman & CEO Russ is expected to outline NYCHA’s plans to replace 310 boilers across 76 developments with $930 million in City, State, and federal funding over the next four years, and discuss the individualized action plans for the developments with the most outages.

Chairman & CEO Russ will also highlight the Authority’s efforts to keep residents informed during outages: by hiring additional staff to speed the resolution of heating complaints and improving the process for collecting resident data on outages through the MyNYCHA app.

The table below provides a breakdown of NYCHA’s performance addressing heating outages for the period of October 01 through January 12:

YearOutagesRestoration Time
2017-181,18840 hours
2018-1960110 hours
2019-203878 hours

You can learn more about the Heating Action Plan and Heating Action Plan appendix here.

About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest public housing authority in North America, was created in 1935 to provide decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. NYCHA is home to 1 in 17 New Yorkers, providing affordable housing to 528,105 authorized residents through public housing and Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) programs as well as Section 8 housing. NYCHA has 177,569 apartments in 2,411 buildings across 335 conventional public housing and PACT developments. In addition, NYCHA connects residents to critical programs and services from external and internal partners, with a focus on economic opportunity, youth, seniors, and social services. With a housing stock that spans all five boroughs, NYCHA is a city within a city.

For more information, please visit nyc.gov/nycha, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via Facebook and Twitter.


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