Brooklyn Community Meeting/Pest and Waste Update: Meeting Summary & Recording, March 21, 2022

On Monday, March 21, 2022, the NYCHA Federal Monitor, Bart M. Schwartz, held a virtual community meeting for NYCHA’s Brooklyn developments which also included an update on pest and waste issues at NYCHA. A recording of the meeting is available on the monitor’s YouTube channel.

During his opening remarks, Mr. Schwartz talked about the safety and security issues at NYCHA including its part in the implementation plan; his working relationship with Chief Secreto, the director of Safety and Security at NYCHA; and the role of the monitoring team’s field investigators on-the-ground in NYCHA developments.

Mr. Schwartz also acknowledged the passing of Robert Feliciano, a field investigator who has served on the NYCHA monitoring team since its inception.

The monitoring team’s Resident Engagement Team Leader, Asha Muldro, introduced Tamika Moore and Chuck Fax from the monitoring team to provide a brief update on initiatives related to pest and waste management.

Ms. Moore announced key initiatives related to pest infestation management, including NYCHA’s commencement of its second round of pest infestation index inspections, also known as MPII inspections and an update on the Resident Ambassador Program which will be piloted in the lower Eastside for six months.

Mr. Fax explained the monitoring team’s role as it relates to waste management and pointed out a few noteworthy developments that are helping to improve waste conditions throughout NYCHA developments. This includes the development and implementation of a six-month pilot program using an electronic score card to grade each development’s waste conditions; NYCHA’s purchase of heavy equipment for collecting and containing waste; the expansion of NYCHA’s recycling initiative citywide as a result of its successful pilot program in Staten Island; and NYCHA’s additional purchase of rear-loader garbage trucks to augment the City’s sanitation’s schedule.

Ms. Muldro introduced HUD’s regional administrator for Region II, Alicka Ampry-Samuel who announced that she is pleased and honored to serve in the position and will take notes for follow up with HUD.

The meeting continued with a question-and-answer session for all attendees with priority given to Brooklyn residents.

  • Concerns were raised about rodent infestation at developments specifically when the development is under construction or units have open walls while waiting on repairs.
    • Ms. Moore discussed NYCHA’s central pest control unit that treats the grounds and the RATS Lap project.
    • NYCHA Executive Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, Eva Trimble, explained the goal of the newly launched Work Order Reform Project, which will close the time gap between the opening and closing of unit walls when repairs are needed.
  • Several questions were asked about who is performing repairs in units.
    • Mr. Schwartz clarified the unit repair work performed is by NYCHA employees as well as vendors. Larger repair projects are handled by vendors with oversight from NYCHA. The monitor has a role ensuring the oversight is done effectively.
    • Ms. Trimble reported that both Compliance and Environmental, Health and Safety departments are very involved in asbestos work projects. She will report back on the number of NYCHA employees who are also residents; but she believes it’s about 30%.
  • A suggestion was made to effectively utilize cameras to help identify security problems.
  • Concerns about open tickets were also mentioned.

Ms. Muldro concluded the meeting by reminding residents to watch the next Community Advisory Committee Meeting to be held on April 12, 2022. The meeting will be live streamed on the NYCHA Monitor’s YouTube channel. In addition, a Manhattan borough resident community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

Visit the monitor’s website at nychamonitor.com for more information on upcoming meetings as well as to contact the monitoring team.