On October 18, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Interim Chair Stanley Brezenoff, and General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo announced heating improvements made this summer and fall across NYCHA to prepare for cold weather.
“Every NYCHA resident deserves heat in the winter. Our new leadership at NYCHA have delivered major improvements that will reduce outages and get the heat back on faster,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This plan will benefit all 400,000 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home, and is only the beginning of more improvements to come.”
Last winter in New York City was one of the coldest on record, bringing NYCHA’s aging infrastructure to the brink. In response, NYCHA’s new leadership created a plan to reduce outages and restore heating faster this winter.
“In preparation for this winter season, we have been fully dedicated to ensuring real improvements to keep residents warmer,” said Interim Chair and CEO Stanley Brezenoff. “While there is no magic wand, our operations team, under the leadership of our General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo, is tackling problems we have immediate control over while looking to the future when we can have more reliable heating throughout our portfolio for all New Yorkers who rely on us.”
NYCHA residents now have more heating staff, more mobile boilers on hand for emergencies, and better handling of their heat complaints. Developments that had chronic heating issues last year – home to 87,000 residents – received targeted improvements ranging from new boilers to new third-party experts that will manage heating plants to reduce outages.
“After joining NYCHA in the height of the heating problems last winter, I committed from day one to ensure that we were better prepared when this winter season came around,” said General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo. “With unprecedented support from Mayor de Blasio, we have achieved operational improvements, streamlined capital timelines, and implemented better technology both internally and for resident communication, so when the winter freeze comes, we will be able to respond faster and get boilers up and running quicker.”
The citywide improvements for the 2018-19 heating season include:
- More heating staff: NYCHA added 50 new heating technicians this heating season, and added more contracts with skilled laborers to provided additional expertise if needed. These staffing expansions will improve maintenance and speed response times.
- Better customer service:When NYCHA makes heating repairs, it will now robocall all affected residents before closing out work orders. Any resident who has not experienced heat restoration will be able to immediately respond during the call to keep staff onsite to address their issue.
- New mobile boilers:5 additional mobile boilers are ready to deploy during emergencies to keep heat running.
The targeted improvements for the 87,000 residents in developments that had chronic heating issues include:
- New boilers: 12 developments had boilers replaced since last winter and 3 more are under repair now, improving heating service for 9,100 residents. Six developments, with 7,300 residents, have received dedicated mobile boilers.
- Outside experts to monitor and manage boilers: For 41 scattered sites or high-tech heating plants, third-party agencies will provide faster and better fixes, helping 70,000 residents experience better heat this season. More developments will be transferred to third-party managers over the course of the heating season.
- Better windows: 7,600 senior apartments received new window balances, a key issue in last year’s struggles to keep the cold out. These repaired windows will lock in the heat more securely for NYCHA’s elderly residents.