Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed on Thursday to eliminate the massive backlog of repair requests from residents living in public housing by year's end.
There are approximately 420,000 outstanding requests that range from plumbing problems to mold removal, officials said.
"We plan, when we finish this administration's term in office, to leave NYCHA housing in better condition than it’s been in many, many years,” Bloomberg said Thursday.
John Rhea, the chairman of the city housing authority, blamed the backlog on poor communication and continued cuts in aid from the federal government. He says the agency is dispatching hundreds of additional repair people into the field.
“I know this sounds very ambitious but we can't afford to be timid,” Rhea said. “It's unacceptable to let the backlog persist for even one more year.”
Rhea said the agency will help pay for the additional repairs through internal cost savings, as well as with funds provided by the City Council.
Some residents have long said that public housing buildings are falling into disrepair at a rate faster than NYCHA can keep up.