Cindy Rodriguez is the Urban Policy reporter for New York Public Radio.
NYC to Overhaul Elevators in Public Housing
Thursday, October 30, 2008
New York, NY –
The New York City Housing Authority plans to spend $107 million to replace more than 500 aging elevators.
This comes in the wake of several accidents, including the death of a 5-year-old boy who fell down a shaft trying to escape a stalled elevator at a public housing project in Brooklyn.
The Housing Authority faces serious budget deficits, a fact not lost by city council members at a hearing yesterday. NYCHA Chairman Tino Hernandez says about half of the funding for the elevators is already budgeted, but the rest is to come from other projects.
HERNANDEZ: We do believe this is a priority and it's really an integral part of our core services. So we will identify the remaining $57 million to be able to expedite some of the elevator projects that we have in the capital plan.
REPORTER: The elevator overhaul will begin in January and will take five years. The Housing Authority says it'll take nine months for the actual work to start.
The fix is only a partial one. Housing officials testified yesterday it would take about $500 million to get the entire system up to par.