Brooklyn Community Meeting Recap: March 14, 2023

On Tuesday, March 14, 2023, NYCHA Federal Monitor, Bart M. Schwartz, and Project Associate for the NYCHA Federal Monitor, Floretta Hudson, hosted a community meeting for Brooklyn residents, tenant association presidents, elected officials, and community leaders.

Mr. Schwartz addressed the issue of rent arrears mainly as a result of New York State not including public housing in its list of funding priorities and its impact on the Emergency Rent and Assistance Program. He informed attendees that the monitoring team is working with NYCHA on their budget to address this issue.

Deputy Monitor Dan Brownell provided highlights of the Thirteenth Quarterly Report Letter issued on March 8, 2023 and noted specific updates related to the NYCHA reorganization plan, heat, and waste management.  He gave an update on the Borough Monitoring team, a sub-team of the Monitoring team, whose objective is to interview NYCHA staff and residents in developments to better assess development updates and issues as they relate to NYCHA’s Neighborhood Model. He also mentioned that the Monitoring team recently issued the Fourth Quarterly Report specifically to HUD, NYCHA and the Southern District of New York.  Mr. Brownell reported on the significant decrease in heat outages this season which he attributed to NYCHA’s preventive maintenance program. He also mentioned that the Monitoring team is working closely with NYCHA to focus on data input and improving their training programs.

Ms. Hudson provided a visual tutorial on how to find reports on the NYCHA Monitor website.

Field Team Leader for the Monitoring Team, Fred Baldino, gave an overview of the credentials of the field team that visits the developments on a regular basis and explained their role. Field Team Member, Chris Fasano, explained the Waste Management Measurement Application (WAMMA) program, created by the Monitoring Team.  WAMMA inspections are conducted monthly at the same building utilizing different teams to provide a different analysis, which helps them better determine if the NYCHA staff, as well as private contractors, have made any improvements, as well as measure the quality of the work being done.

During the meeting, residents expressed their concerns, provided recommendations, and asked questions. Specific issues mentioned include:

  • Infrastructure issues causing rainwater to enter building lobbies and unit electrical sockets
  • Roof leaks leading to water intrusion
  • Waiting several months for newly installed boilers to be hooked-up
  • Faulty compactors
  • Ongoing issues with broken doors and locks
  • Broken concrete on walkways leading to trip hazards
  • Scaffolds in place for more than five years blocking cameras and allowing criminals to hide

In his closing remarks, Mr. Schwartz reiterated the information gathered at the ground level by talking to residents, provides the Monitoring Team with a better understanding of the problems. He also emphasized that succeeding at NYCHA takes time, takes energy, and has its disappointments; but we’re staying abreast of issues.

Please continue to check the NYCHA Monitor website for updates. In the meantime, if there are conditions in your units or developments, please call the NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center first at 718-707-7771. But, if there is something you feel needs to be brought to the Monitor’s attention, you can email the Monitor or call (844) 309-6080.

The next Community Meeting for Manhattan residents is scheduled for Tuesday, May 9, 2023.