All posts by Bettye


********* COVID 19 UPDATE #3 DE NYCHA ********
Estimado Líder Residente,

Los esfuerzos diarios de limpieza de NYCHA se concentran en áreas de alto tráfico, incluyendo manijas de puertas, puertas de tolva, buzones y controles de elevadores, en nuestros 2,200 edificios, 3,843 vestíbulos, 3,140 ascensores y 25,805 pisos.
Continuamos haciendo que la información de COVID-19 esté disponible a través del alcance directo a los residentes a través de llamadas automáticas, correos electrónicos, carteles multilingües, la aplicación MyNYCHA, publicaciones diarias en las redes sociales y publicaciones en sitios web de residentes, empleados y públicos.
Les pedimos a los residentes que utilicen nuestros sistemas automatizados y en línea, incluida mi aplicación NYCHA, el portal de autoservicio, nuestros quioscos, para completar sus transacciones.
Alentamos a los residentes a llamar al CCC al 718-707-7771 para informar emergencias y programar reparaciones de mantenimiento de rutina en sus apartamentos y desarrollos. Los representantes capacitados están en espera las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana para atender emergencias y programar reparaciones de mantenimiento de rutina de lunes a viernes de 6 a.m. a medianoche.
Cierres y suspensiones:

Con vigencia inmediata, hemos suspendido todos los cortes planeados hasta nuevo aviso.
Estamos deteniendo los desalojos de residentes mientras la Ciudad se encuentre en estado de emergencia.
Estamos alentando a los hogares que experimentan pérdida de ingresos a acceder a nuestro programa de dificultades de alquiler.
La Oficina de Audiencias Administrativas de NYCHA está posponiendo todos los casos por dos semanas, momento en el cual volveremos a evaluar el calendario de audiencias para determinar si la postergación debe extenderse.
Estamos posponiendo reuniones y eventos públicos en persona en las oficinas y desarrollos de NYCHA durante 30 días.
Estamos cerrando los Centros de Atención al Cliente de Brooklyn y Bronx al público, a partir del lunes 3/16.
Recomendamos que los líderes de la Asociación de Resident
es pospongan las reuniones de grupos grandes, incluidas las elecciones de residentes.
El equipo de compromiso de los residentes pospone todos los programas y reuniones de residentes.
Puede encontrar más información sobre COVID-19 aquí: Departamento de Salud e Higiene Mental de la Ciudad de Nueva York

Continuaremos manteniéndolo actualizado.

En asociación,

Departamento de Compromiso Residente, NYCHA

COVID 19 Update #3 from NYCHA

*****COVID 19 Update #3 from NYCHA********

Dear Resident Leader,

The health and safety of our residents and employees is our top priority. We are working with DOHMH, NYCEM and other City, State and Federal partners to closely monitor the current situation related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York City. NYCHA leadership has been working closely with our government partners to ensure our approach and plans are thorough and responsive to a changing environment. We wanted to send an update on our efforts to date:

NYCHA has hired a contractor to clean senior buildings with a two-step treatment plan that includes cleaning and applying a deep-cleaning agent and a bio-ecofriendly protective coating that kills germs before it attaches to the surface. The deep-cleaner and protective coating are applied at the same time and typically lasts for 90 days but we are going to a 30-day cycle as a precautionary measure, and basic cleaning is recommended two times a week after application. Non-senior residences are being cleaned daily by a combination of in-house staff and caretakers and additional cleaning service companies. Our approximately 3,200 caretakers are also responsible for grounds maintenance, sweeping floors, checking roofs and waste removal. NYCHA’s daily cleaning efforts are concentrated in high-traffic areas – including door handles, hopper doors, mailboxes and elevator controls – in our 2,200 buildings, 3,843 lobbies, 3,140 elevators and 25,805 floors.

We continue to make COVID-19 information available through direct outreach to residents through robocalls, emails, multilingual posters, the MyNYCHA App, daily social media posts, and posting on resident, employee and public websites. We are asking residents to utilize our automated and online systems including my NYCHA App, the self-service portal, our Kiosks, to complete their transactions. We are encouraging residents to call the CCC at 718-707-7771 to report emergencies and schedule routine maintenance repairs in their apartments and developments. Trained representatives are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to handle emergencies and to schedule routine maintenance repairs for Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to midnight.

Closures and Suspensions:

Effective immediately, we have suspended all planned outages until further notice. We are halting resident evictions for as long as the City is under a state of emergency. We are encouraging households experiencing loss of income to access our rental hardship program. NYCHA’s Administrative Hearing Office is postponing all cases for two weeks, at which time we will reevaluate the hearing schedule to determine if the postponement should be extended. We are postponing in-person public meetings and events at NYCHA offices and developments for 30 days. We are closing the Brooklyn and Bronx Customer Contact Walk-in Centers to the public, effective Monday, 3/16. We recommend Resident Association leaders postpone large group meetings, including resident elections. Resident engagement team is postponing all resident programs and meetings.

More information on COVID-19 can be found here: New York City Departmentof  Health and Mental Hygiene .

We will continue to keep you updated.

In Partnership,
Resident Engagement Department , NYCHA



Submitted by Ethel Velez

In New York City, Movement School is piloting a local approach to building power for marginalized communities, amplifying political voice for public housing (NYCHA) residents. Reclaim is a dynamic leadership development program will equip resident leaders with the tools and resources to organize their neighbors against injustice and win the power to build an inclusive and prosperous future for families living in public housing.

Program Overview (August-October 2019)
Reclaim will run for 12 weeks from August to October 2019, and will be broken up into four phases: Movement Origins, Organizing 101, The Leader in Me, and Feet to the Fire. The first three phases will be a series of interactive training sessions followed by assignments that will form the building blocks of the organizing project each Reclaim Fellow will launch during the final phase and continue post-program. Our hybrid program will host sessions in person and online in the evenings and on the weekends.

Phase 1: Movement Origins

Phase 2: Organizing 101

Phase 3: The Leader in Me

Phase 4: Feet to the Fire

Community Development and the Future of NYCHA – A Panel Discussion 4/24/2019

Under the RADar: Community Development and the Future…

Community Development and the Future of NYCHA – A Panel Discussion

Hunter College, Department of Urban Policy & Planning

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)

Free Event


Hunter College School of Social Work Auditorium
2180 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10035

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)

RSVP at :

Event Details:

The future of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) remains in a precarious state, with a growing $32 billion backlog of capital needs. Under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, Mayor de Blasio has committed to transferring ownership of 62,000 units (nearly one third of NYCHA’s housing stock) to private developers, who will leverage private financing sources in order to make much-needed repairs. While the RAD program offers potential to improve quality of life for residents, it also raises concerns around the preservation of New York City’s biggest resource of deeply affordable housing. This panel brings together advocates, tenant leaders, policy experts, and community development professionals to discuss the impending RAD conversions, implications for public housing residents, and the potential role of community development organizations in protecting long term affordability.

The panel will be moderated by Hunter College Master’s student Eliot Hetterly.

The panelists will include:

Matthew Washington, Deputy Borough President, Manhattan Borough President’s Office

Victor Bach, Senior Housing Policy Analyst, Community Service Society

Diana Blackwell, President of Fred Samuel Resident Association, NYCHA

Roberta Semer, Manhattan Community Board 7 Chair

Frank Lang, Director of Housing, St. Nick’s Alliance

Emily Kurtz, Vice President of Housing, RiseBoro Community Partnership

Ed Braxton, Program Officer, Enterprise Community Partners​

Have questions about Under the RADar: Community Development and the Future of NYCHA? Contact Hunter College, Department of Urban Policy & Planning

NYCHA shakes up federally-mandated compliance office

By Anna Sanders  | New York Daily News | Apr 17, 2019 | 3:51 PM

NYCHA replaced the official responsible for ensuring it complies with health and safety rules after criticism that Mayor de Blasio gave the important job to a political patronage hire.

Vilma Huertas-Cymbrowitz, named chief compliance officer last July, was replaced on Monday with three officials who will be responsible for overseeing NYCHA’s conformity with the same crucial regulations it’s flouted for years.

The scandal-scarred authority restructured the federally-mandated compliance office this week by adding a “quality assurance unit” and an environmental health and safety department, officials announced on Wednesday.

Daniel Greene, a former Cuomo administration official, was appointed acting chief compliance officer. Patrick O’Hagan was named acting environmental health and safety officer and Cathy Pennington was appointed acting quality assurance officer and senior vice president for information technology.

Restructuring of the compliance office – and choosing a new chief compliance officer – were specified in an agreement reached by de Blasio and the feds in January to settle a bombshell complaint alleging years of mismanagement at NYCHA.

Huertas-Cymbrowitz was made a special advisor to the NYCHA chair as part of the staffing shuffle.

The head of the City Council’s investigations committee blasted her as “patently unqualified” when she was made chief compliance officer last year. Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres also said at the time that putting her in the job violated the intent of a federal consent decree, which NYCHA denied.

“I feel vindicated,” Torres said. “I was the first to expose NYCHA’s ploy to reduce the Chief Compliance Officer to little more than a patronage position. The CCO can and should be a catalyst for reform, rather than a creature of a failed bureaucracy.”

De Blasio and the authority entered into that consent decree after federal prosecutors sued City Hall in June 2018 alleging NYCHA officials for years lied and covered up their failure to address health and safety concerns in their developments, including toxic lead paint, mold contamination, heating outages and faulty elevators.

A federal judge shot down the consent decree last fall for being insufficient. In January de Blasio agreed to a settlement that includes a federal monitor and $2.2 billion in city funding for NYCHA over the next decade. NYCHA consulted with the monitor on the compliance office changes.

NYCHA fails repeatedly and continuously

“Today, NYCHA named leaders – working in consultation with our Monitor – to the three new and restructured departments called for in the Agreement,” interim NYCHA chair Kathryn Garcia said in a statement. “The appointments reinforce NYCHA’s commitment to accountability, compliance and quality assurance, and most importantly improving quality of life for our residents.”

The city has until mid-May to name a permanent NYCHA chair after missing an April deadline. As part of the settlement, the chair must be picked from a shortlist OK’d by U.S. attorney for Southern District of New York and the federal department of Housing and Urban Development.



Paylock Parking Program

Paylock Program

 Starting June 1, 2019, a new procedure through Paylock will be implemented for NYCHA parking lots. If you park your car in a NYCHA lot without a valid parking sticker, a self-release boot will be applied. A sticker will be left giving the instructions needed for you to pay, unlock & return the boot within 24 hours.

 Please make note of this information to avoid having your car booted. Program to roll out starting June 1st, 2019 in different developments.




Rosalba Rodriguez

Deputy Director of Northern Manhattan Office




NEW YORK, NY 10007



CONTACT:, (212) 788-2958



 Part of Mayor’s LeadFreeNYC Plan to eliminate childhood lead exposure

 NEW YORK —Mayor Bill de Blasio today kicked off NYCHA’s new lead-based paint testing program. For the first time ever, 135,000 apartments will be tested with a portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzers. Surpassing local and federal requirements, this effort will determine the presence of lead paint and abate any hazards found in these units. These 135,000 units were built before 1978, when lead paint was banned at the federal level. Testing will be completed by the end of 2020.

“New York City has driven down the number of kids exposed to lead by 90 percent, and now we will finish the mission,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.  “For the first time ever, we’re going into 135,000 NYCHA apartments to eradicate lead exposure. This aggressive new testing plan will help make New York the healthiest and fairest big city in America.”

“Today, we begin to aggressively tackle lead-based paint inspections for our residents and their children,” said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia. “We will continue to accelerate lead testing to ensure NYCHA is lead free and our residents are safe from lead-based hazards in their homes.”

NYCHA will then prioritize developments with the highest population of children under the age of 6, which is the age recognized in the City’s law requiring landlords to conduct regular lead-based paint visual assessments. Testing begins at Harlem River Houses on April 15 and the other seven developments will start on May 1.The first tranche of development to be tested are:

  • Williamsburg Houses
  • Harlem River Houses
  • Bronx River Houses
  • Saint Nicholas Houses
  • Johnson Houses
  • Red Hook West Houses
  • Castle Hill Houses
  • Marble Hill Houses

The remaining developments will be announced in the coming months. In addition to ensuring individual residents are receiving clear and rapid communication about results for their own

apartments once inspected, NYCHA will report its testing results online by May 1st and will update this information every two weeks.

In July 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new undertaking for the City and NYCHA to fully test for the presence of lead-based paint in public housing apartments. Released in December 2018, the Request for Proposal (RFP) sought the use of portable XRF testing.  In February 2019, NYCHA announced the selection of seven contractors to conduct the lead-based paint inspection services. The $88 million contract was awarded to Airtek Environmental, Arc Environmental, ATC Group, JLC Environmental, Lew Corporation, The ALC Group, and TRC Environmental. The contractors are expected to inspect approximately 5,000 to 7,000 apartments each month.

Beyond the testing, the scope of the contracts includes identifying hazardous conditions detrimental to residents’ health and safety. As part of the testing, the contractors will also perform the HUD annually required visual assessments for all apartments built prior to 1978 that have not been previously cleared of lead-based paint. NYCHA will correct any paint deficiencies observed during the visual assessments.

This testing initiative is part of LeadFreeNYC, the City’s roadmap to eradicate childhood lead exposure. LeadFreeNYC’s approach is twofold: prevent exposure to lead hazards in the first place, and respond quickly and comprehensively if a child has an elevated blood lead level. To protect New York City kids, the City will increase resources and support for children, parents, and healthcare providers.

“Lead paint testing is long overdue. I am pleased that the Mayor is directing the testing of Red Hook apartments for this health hazard.  Our NYCHA residents deserve to have decent homes and buildings. This is one step in our effort to ensure quality housing,” said Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz.

 Senator Roxanne J. Persaud said, “I am pleased that this advanced lead testing is beginning. We must ensure all NYCHA buildings are in compliance with federal regulations and remove the health risks that pose threat to families, especially those with young children, living in untreated or untested apartments. New Yorkers living in NYCHA housing deserve homes that are safe, clean and healthy; this is one step in assuring this is happening.”

“I am relieved that over 135,000 NYCHA apartments will finally undergo lead testing and that this initiative will include East Harlem’s Johnson Houses. Our communities deserve healthy and safe housing- this initiative takes action to remedy the lead crisis and is a step in the right direction,” said Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez.

“I’m truly glad to see that NYCHA has raised the bar on their level of efficiency to address the lead crisis. This approach is long overdue. Our children’s health and wellness is a priority and this a step in the right direction to eradicate lead in NYCHA developments,” said Assembly Member Latrice Walker.

 “X-ray fluorescence technology is an aggressive tool that will allow NYCHA to test 135,000 apartments citywide and help keep families safe from lead hazards in their homes. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Interim Chair Garcia for activating this effort and prioritizing NYCHA families,” said Council Member Diana Ayala.

“The new ‘vision zero’ approach and XRF testing are positive steps to ensure good health and lead-free homes for thousands of NYCHA residents,” said Council Member Andy King. “The goal is to make our NYCHA apartments totally lead-free and I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia for launching this testing initiative, a part of LeadFreeNYC, and keeping it on schedule for the people of our city.”

“Public housing residents deserve apartments that are safe and lead-free. Testing is essential for the City to know exactly which apartments have lead-based paint, and take prompt remedial action,” said Council Member Rory Lancman.

“The only way to guarantee no one in public housing lives with lead is for the City to mobilize every resource imaginable to test for its presence,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the Committee on Immigration. “This announcement is a welcome development and I will work with the Mayor to ensure that testing is carried out fully at the Red Hook West houses.”

Council Member Debi Rose said, “The impact of lead poisoning has had devastating, life-long consequences that affect the social, emotional and physical health of children. This new technology will enable the city to pinpoint exactly where lead still exists in our NYCHA developments so that we can ensure quick and thorough remediation for the health and well-being of all our tenants.”

“NYCHA needs to know with 100 percent accuracy the location of any potentially harmful lead within its developments. This is absolutely crucial to making sure LeadFreeNYC successfully eradicates childhood exposure to lead in New York City,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Testing using portable X-ray fluorescence is the most efficient way to test all 135,000 public housing apartments Citywide in a reasonable amount of time. I commend Mayor de Blasio for taking this long-standing issue head-on and looking to solve it using an innovative approach. We must do everything we can as a municipal government to keep our children safe and to protect them from the harmful effects of lead-based paint and contaminated dust.”

“We have to break the cycle of neglect for our public housing residents, especially when it comes to our most vulnerable. The physical and developmental disabilities caused by lead paint will unfortunately follow many children for the rest of their lives. We cannot undo the mistakes of the past, but is incumbent upon all of us in City government to ensure that the failures that resulted in this current public health crisis are never repeated. I applaud the Administration for taking decisive action to eradicate the scourge of lead from NYCHA buildings, but I also share the outrage and heartbreak of many families living in public housing who feel that it is long overdue,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal.

“For years, residents of NYCHA have had to deal with the serious ramifications of exposure to lead-based paint. Thankfully Mayor de Blasio and his administration have been working diligently to tackle this problem head on with the creation of LeadFreeNYC. I am thrilled by today’s announcement of a new “vision zero” approach that will include testing for lead-based paint in over 135,000 NYCHA apartments. I commend the Mayor on his commitment to rectifying this horrible wrong and giving New Yorkers living in NYCHA the peace of mind they deserve,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.


Rosalba Rodriguez

Deputy Director of Northern Manhattan Office

Office of Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer

431 West 125 Street – Storefront

New York, NY 10027

Office 212-531-3030

Fax  212-531-4615

Mobile 917-880-3089

Follow Gale:
Sign up for Gale’s e-news
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NYCHA tenants testify at town hall meeting that they’ve been worrying about lead poisoning for years

Lies and cover-ups about lead poisoning of children in the city’s public housing have recently caught the attention of politicians and prosecutors. But for tenants and housing advocates, the problem goes back years.

That was the message that emerged at a packed town hall arranged by city Controller Scott Stringer Monday night in Harlem.AdChoices.

Stringer kicked off the hearing by noting that the city recently was forced to reveal there were more than 1,100 lead-poisoned young children living in NYCHA after downplaying the problem for years.

“These children and their families have been left in the dark for far too long,” Stringer said.

The controller held the hearing in response to revelations by the Daily News about hundreds of lead-poisoned children living in NYCHA, and a federal complaint filed in June that detailed how NYCHA managers for years misinformed tenants and the public about their longtime failure to inspect apartments for lead paint.

After The News revealed there were hundreds of lead-poisoned children living in NYCHA apartments — despite the city’s claim that there were only 19 — Stringer opened an investigation and set up the hearing to look for other areas that need improvement.

Since 2012, the federal Centers for Disease Control guidance states public health entities should do an environmental assessment to determine the source of lead for any child under 6 registering a level of 5 micro-grams of lead per deciliter or higher. But until January city Health officials didn’t trigger an investigation until a child registered 10 micro-grams or higher.

As a result, they never inspected the apartments of more than 850 children with blood-lead levels of concern to the CDC. After The News exposed this situation, the city began tracking down the 850 children and increased the number of apartments to be tested for lead from 55,000 to more than 130,000.

Stringer is looking into the Health Department’s decision to use the higher standard and whether there was a communication breakdown with NYCHA on the issue of lead poisoning of children.

“Lead poisoning is a very serious issue in our community,” said Monica Dula, chair of health committee of Community Board 9, which includes two huge developments, Grant and Manhattanville Houses. “No one has informed these communities about what’s going on.”

Dula said she got the runaround when she tried to find out how many children living in those developments have been lead poisoned. The Health Department referred her to NYCHA, and NYCHA wouldn’t say.

“To this day I have not been able to get the total number of apartments that have tested positive for lead,” she said. “It’s unfathomable that these two agencies have not worked together given the current tragedies.”

 When Carmen Quinones, tenant president of Douglass Houses, declared “What’s happened at the New York City Housing Authority is a disgrace!” the gym erupted with applause.

Also on Monday, Council Oversight & Investigations Committee Chairman Ritchie Torres, D-Bronx, demanded that the health department embrace the CDC’s 5 micro-grams standard as part of the city Health Code in a letter to Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.

“A universal standard written into the Health Code will prevent the confusion that naturally arises when the DOHMH reports conflicting numbers based on conflicting definitions, as it has done repeatedly on the subject of lead in public housing,” Torres wrote.