On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, the Federal Monitor’s Resident Engagement Team Leader, Asha Muldro, hosted a hybrid meeting of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The meeting was live streamed on the NYCHA Monitor YouTube channel.

Ms. Muldro opened the meeting at 6:00 PM and thanked everyone for their support and continued commitment. She also announced that this was the 22nd CAC meeting.

Fire Department of the City of New York Battalion Chief, Michael Thomson, provided the following updates:

  • The distribution of replacement key fobs continues to every FDNY unit with a key fob that is universal throughout the 4 boroughs for layered access doors.
  • A process was initiated to identify developments in need of other keys for fire boxes, etc. with the goal of centralizing the key distribution process which will ultimately allow the FDNY easier access to buildings with less damage during an emergency.
  • Mandatory training will begin shortly via a video for the key fob protocols.
  • Broken/damaged doors will be documented via an online system.
  • The FDNY continues to work in conjunction with NYCHA’s Vice President for Public Safety and Security, Chief James Secreto, on the following items:
    • The FDNY will be given doors used in NYCHA developments for FDNY practice/training purposes.
    • FDNY is in discussions to extract data that represents FDNY responses at developments and the type of response (elevator, etc.). NYCHA will analyze the data to identify trends.

Chief Secreto provided further updates:

  • An authority-wide safety plan will be presented to NYCHA’s executive team for approval. The plan includes tactics to conduct a top-to-bottom security and safety assessment at each development on an annual basis. Upon completion of the authority-wide assessments, individual development plans will be created.
    • New York Police Department Captain Heron will request safety field reports for developments in which Chief Secreto can incorporate the data into the safety reports.
  • Chief Secreto and his team continue to visit developments looking for homeless and offering them services.

Captain Heron provided a crime statistics update and noted that most crimes are down in housing. There is a citywide problem with car thefts of specific car types for their software. The NYPD is raising awareness on this recent problem and distributing Apple Tags for the vehicles.

Council Member, District 38 and New York City Committee on Public Housing Chair, Alexa Avilés, debriefed the committee on several recent hearings, meetings, and other discussions. This included:

  • Summer Preparedness Hearing: She requested better communications and clear protocols between NYCHA staff and residents.
  • Preliminary Executive Budget Meeting at the city level: New York State picked up some of the rental arrears, which is a small amount, and more and more residents are not paying rent which is contributing to the arrears. In the event of a government shutdown, NYCHA will not be able to operate. In addition, the Mayor cut the Vacancy Ready Unit Program. She advocated for reinstatement of that program.
  • AC Units Discussion: During the pandemic 13,000 air conditioning units given to seniors. The City recently sent letters to some residents requesting payment for the units or the City will take back the units. In totality, NYCHA residents are expected to pay back $1.2 million. She voiced her dissatisfaction since the City implemented an initiative during an emergency without preparing for future issues.
  • Section 3 Hearing: She expressed concern about the disconnection with the dollars spent and the needs for better enforcement.
  • Cooling Centers discussion: NYCHA is researching ways to make positive changes with the centers in the future.

Deputy Monitor, Dan Brownell, spoke more about NYCHA’s Summer Preparedness program as it relates to elevators. When ConEd reduces voltage during heat waves, NYCHA’s Elevator Division needs to shut down the elevator motors, which is not effectively communicated to NYCHA. At some point in the future, NYCHA will be installing regulators in buildings that are most susceptible to the low voltage conditions. In the past, when outages are caused by low voltage conditions, NYCHA does not input the proper data in the outage work orders; however, NYCHA has improved in this area.

NYCHA Community Coordinator, Samantha Rogers, provided the following updates:

  • NYCHA is moving forward with Family Day planning and NYCHA staff will be onsite at Family Days.
  • The HUD-mandated Code of Federal Regulations 964 training is underway with 535 NYCHA staff members completing the training.
  • The Resident Participant Engagement has been reorganized allowing neighborhood services coordinators to be assigned to each neighborhood, instead of a borough-based assignment. This will help coordinators manage their time and resources more effectively and by alleviating their travel from borough-to-borough.
  • The Amazon Locker Program is consistently monitored for security purposes.
    • Chief Secreto: informed the committee that about 30 lockers have been installed and Amazon is looking to expand the installation of lockers throughout the boroughs. His team has received a positive response from residents.

Ms. Muldro concluded the meeting by thanking everyone for their ideas and reminded attendees of the upcoming Community Meeting for Queens residents which will be held in-person on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, and live-streamed via the NYCHA Monitor YouTube channel.