The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) had its 16th meeting on April 12, 2022, via a virtual conference. The full agenda is available here and a recording of the virtual meeting can be viewed on the NYCHA Monitor YouTube channel.
NYCHA Federal Monitor, Bart M. Schwartz, and Community and Resident Engagement Team Leaders, Asha Muldro hosted the meeting.
During his opening statement, Mr. Schwartz indicated that although it the heating season is over for residents, it is not the end of the season for NYCHA. They should be spending the next several months getting ready for the next heating season. He acknowledged NYCHA’s poor performance this past heating season with an increase in the number of heat outages as well as an increase in outage time from the previous season. This was a result of NYCHA’s inadequate maintenance during the off season.
Mr. Schwartz also noted that NYCHA is now taking steps to increase its staffing and enhance their heating plan during the off-season. The updated plan will include a structure for tracking inspections, repairs, and work orders. Record keeping will be a key component and will allow for better coordination with other departments. NYCHA will also use outside vendors to perform boiler maintenance work; enabling the heating staff to focus more on the buildings and aging heating systems.
The meeting continued with updates from committee members, as well as their thoughts and suggestions for resolving NYCHA’s most pressing issues. Highlights included:
- Citywide Council of Presidents (CCOP) Inc., Treasurer, Lilithe Lozano announced CCOP’s latest initiative to create a code-of-conduct for resident association elections, including mandated training for elected residents.
- NYCHA Executive Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, Eva Trimble provided an update on the capital funding tracker. The beta version is live on the NYCHA website. Everyone is encouraged to test it and send their feedback. Her team is also working closely with Agnes Mak from the New York City Department for the Aging on the community center intake process.
- NYCHA Resident Engagement Department Manager, Gina Watkins provided details on the installation ceremony for new resident association leaders which took place on March 23.
- S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator, Alicka Ampry-Samuel stated that HUD is back to performing financial assessment (FAAS) inspections after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID pandemic. In addition, $38 million of special appropriation funding will be provided to NYCHA for emergency capital needs, and safety and security initiatives.
- New York City Fire Department Chief Michael Kirwin informed the committee of an important update regarding key fobs: if they should fail, they can be unlocked remotely.
Ms. Muldro turned the focus of the discussion to her observations from meetings of the Resident Roundtable sub-committees: Safety & Security, Quality of Life, Quality Assurance, and Management Practices. She asked CAC members to provide suggestions for each sub-committee. Potential recommendations from resident leaders on the CAC included:
- Surveying lobby doors, intercoms, and cameras to determine their root cause for failing.
- Modernizing lobby doors with more manageable features and eliminating glass entranceways.
- Educating residents about the proper use of key fobs and the implications of open doors.
- Updating signage to enforce non trespassing.
- Treating broken lobby doors as an emergency issue with a 24-hour timeline to be repaired.
- Enforcing the no smoking policy.
- Improving communications with residents when compactors are broken and providing proper signage that directs residents where to dispose of garbage.
- Improving communications between agencies such as the sanitation and police departments.
- Connecting cameras to police stations.
- Checking cameras daily to ensure they are operating properly.
- Developing different options for feedback and communication such as providing residents with QR codes to scan and complete a survey about closed work orders.
- Placing reminders in residents’ monthly statements about the proper disposable of garbage, pet policy, calling 911 when they see criminal activity, etc.
Mr. Schwartz closed the meeting by thanking all the members for their contributions and expressed his satisfaction with the committee members’ continuing flow of solutions. The next CAC meeting is scheduled for June 7, 2022, and the next Community meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, with a focus on the borough of Manhattan.