On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at 6:00 PM ET, Resident Engagement Monitoring Team Leader, Asha Muldro, hosted the 20th meeting of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) via Zoom. A recording of the meeting is available on the NYCHA Monitor’s YouTube channel and a copy of the agenda is available here.
A key agenda item was led by Shaan Mavani, NYCHA chief asset and capital management officer and Abigail Fradkin, NYCHA program manager. They introduced an enhanced version of the Capital Tracker based on feedback from various stakeholders. Updates include additional information on projects, as well as insight on how a specific development compares to the average need within NYCHA. Mr. Mavani and Ms. Fradkin noted the following:
- There are more than 700 active projects.
- Project information is being pulled from NYCHA’s project management system builder which was implemented in 2020. Several changes are being made to that system to ensure the information is more detailed and updated on a regular basis. The team has spent the last nine months standardizing language on the back-end system.
- Sometimes projects are publicly pledged, but the funding is not received by NYCHA. It can take several years for funding to materialize.
CAC representative from Queens, Manny Martinez, questioned whether the Tracker can assist with Section 3 job opportunities. He pointed to Part 135, a specific mandate of Section 3, concerning the contracting of 10% of a contract value. He also suggested for those managing capital projects to regularly review every invoice from a contractor around section requirements to ensure they are compliant with meeting secondary labor hours.
New York City Police Department Deputy Inspector, Howard Gottesman proposed having a conversation to discuss mechanisms for handling civilian complaints related to quality of life. HUD Regional Administrator for Region II, Alicka Ampry-Samuel would like HUD to be invited to these.
Inspector Gottesman would also like to discuss different ways the NYPD may be able to send important safety communications to NYCHA residents. Currently, the NYPD does not have a way to send a mass notification to NYCHA residents. He suggested assigning a point person at NYCHA in which the NYPD can send the content and NYCHA can issue.
Fire Department of the City of New York Battalion Chief Michael Thomson announced the production of a training video for all members of the department regarding access to NYCHA buildings, including the usage of key fobs, as well as some of the tactics members can utilize to reduce forced entries.
NYCHA Chief of Security, James Secreto mentioned the outcome of a Resident Roundtable survey in which 65% of NYCHA residents said they do not feel safe in their neighborhoods. However, he noted 100% of RAD housing residents surveyed reported that they feel safe. He opined that this is a result of RAD’s enforcement of rules and regulations through the issuance of summons.
Alicka Ampry-Samuel mentioned that she was pleased to see the capital tracker presentation as well as the progress the FDNY is making with resolving door issues. She noted that she wants to hear more from Chief Secreto on how he and his team are championing the safety and security issues at NYCHA. She also provided details on the new inspection process called INSPIRE which will allow residents to be more involved in the process.
Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad, deputy general counsel from the New York City Office of Housing Recovery Operations, mentioned the City’s initiatives for Community Centers (scoping and planning improvements for the centers); and a coaching and mentoring academy in which supervisors mentor staff on communications, crisis management, career paths and growth. She also noted that she and her team are working on the amended NYCHA actions plans across the pillars with the monitoring team.
Samantha Rogers, community coordinator at NYCHA, spoke about a partnership with CVR Associates to conduct training for NYCHA leadership residents and staff on 964 regulations and the Citywide Council of Presidents Inc., Memorandum of Understanding. She also noted that the Resident Roundtables are still going strong, and part of this year’s focus is the follow-up from the first year’s recommendations.
Estelle Strykers-Santiago, community partnerships unit director for the Manhattan District Attorney, announced that summer internship applications are open for Manhattan high school students residing in NYCHA developments.
Ms. Muldro closed the meeting by thanking everyone for their participation and continued help. She also announced that the Brooklyn Community Meeting is scheduled for March 14, 2023, and the next CAC meeting will be held in-person in April.