New York City Housing Authority


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FAQs - QUESTIONS FROM NYCHA RESIDENTS

QUESTIONS FROM NYCHA RESIDENTS

  1. Does the Housing Authority accommodate persons with disabilities?
  2. What is the definition of a person with disabilities for the purpose of being eligible for one of these special apartments in public housing?
  3. What makes these apartments for Persons with Disabilities accessible?
  4. My daughter uses a wheelchair most of the time and, in the least needs a walker to get around. How can I apply for an accessible apartment?
  5. What do I do if I require some changes to my apartment for a certain disability?
  6. I am confined to a wheelchair and quite often can't get to my third floor apartment after regular business hours because the elevators are broken. What can I do?

Pets

  1. Are dogs allowed in Public Housing?
  2. How many pets can I have in my apartment?
  3. What other rules apply to having a pet?
  4. What determines if a dog is vicious?
  5. How can I get rid of a pet or have it vaccinated?

Rent

  1. I recently moved into this apartment and I have been charged rent from the day I was informed that the apartment was ready. Shouldn't I have been charged rent from the day I received the keys to the apartment.
  2. I paid my rent this month. Why did I get a dispossess?
  3. I received a notice informing me that I am a Chronic Rent Delinquent and that I must attend an administrative hearing. What is a Chronic Rent Delinquent? Am I going to be evicted?
  4. I am out of work and notified my Housing Assistant. Why hasn't my rent been decreased?

Repairs

  1. I requested repairs to be completed in my apartment several months ago and nothing has happened. Staff at the Management Office has informed me that there is no work request on record for this repair. How can this be?
  2. I contacted my Management Office and requested that repairs be made in my apartment. The repairs still have not been completed. Isn't management supposed to complete all repairs immediately?
  3. What is a Skilled Trade Work Repair?
  4. We recently had some work done in our apartment by a NYCHA contractor. New cabinets were installed and they are defective. What do I do?
  5. I have black mold in my bathroom and don't know what to do.
  6. What about emergency repairs on weekends or off-hours?
  7. When hot water or elevator maintenance is being completed we never get any notification. What can I do about this?
  8. Why is this apartment so cold during the day? Who can help me?
  9. Why do we run out of hot water so often in the morning or at dinnertime?
  10. How many air conditioners am I permitted to have in my apartment?
  11. Will NYCHA pay for damage to personal property as a result of a flood in my apartment?

Security/Quality of Life Issues

  1. I have noisy neighbors who constantly disturb me. What can be done about this?
  2. My neighbors are selling drugs out of the apartment next door. What do I do?
  3. I have received a Termination of Tenancy notice because my grandson had a problem with the police. Is this fair?
  4. Is it true that if someone is arrested for a felony drug offense that they cannot visit any NYCHA development?
  5. Why doesn't my development have the closed circuit cameras to monitor our buildings and surrounding areas to prevent crime?
  6. A rude NYCHA employee has mistreated me. How do I make a complaint against that person?
  7. What is the Trespass Policy?

Transfers / Moving

  1. Can I transfer to another apartment in my current development or another development?
  2. When should I inform NYCHA that I am moving out of my apartment?
  3. How can I find out about the status of my transfer request?
  4. I was approved for a transfer before my neighbor was. Why did they get an apartment first?
  5. Why must I transfer to a smaller apartment?
  6. I live alone in a one bedroom apartment and am moving out of the City. Can my daughter take over the apartment?
  7. My mother is terminally ill. If I move in to her apartment to care for her, will I be able to keep the apartment for myself as a remaining family member?
  8. Can I transfer to a housing development for senior citizens?

Accommodations for People with Disabilities

  1. Does the Housing Authority accommodate persons with disabilities?

    NYCHA has Section 504 apartments available that are accessible to persons with disabilities. If a person with a disability needs an accommodation to assist them in their current apartment, they should contact their Housing Assistant.

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  2. What is the definition of a person with disabilities for the purpose of being eligible for one of these special apartments in public housing?

    Any family with a member who permanently utilizes a cane, walker, leg braces, crutches or wheelchair, or is otherwise in need of an accessible apartment because of a disability, qualifies for such an apartment.

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  3. What makes these apartments for Persons with Disabilities accessible?

    To begin with, most of the accessible apartments for persons with mobility impairments are in buildings that have ramps and elevators able to easily accommodate a wheelchair. Also, the apartments have been redesigned with lowered kitchen and medicine cabinets, bathroom grab bars making tub more accessible, handheld showers, accessible toilet and widened door openings to allow wheelchairs to easily maneuver between rooms. They also have enhanced audio/visual alarms using strobe lights to warn hearing-impaired persons when smoke or fire alarms go off. In some units, where medically necessary and prescribed by a doctor, roll-in showers are installed so a person in a wheelchair can easily get in and out.

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  4. My daughter uses a wheelchair most of the time and, in the least needs a walker to get around. How can I apply for an accessible apartment?

    If you, or a member of your household, are mobility impaired and desire a fully converted apartment, fill out a Request for Transfer form available from your Management Office. Your Housing Assistant should be able to help you or you can call the Department of Equal Opportunity at (212) 306-4652 or TDD (212) 306-4445.

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  5. What do I do if I require some changes to my apartment for a certain disability?

    If you or a member of your household require some accessibility improvements to your apartment, but not a fully converted apartment, you can request a partial modification to your apartmetn. Your Housing Assistant should be able to help you or you can call the Department of Equal Opportunity at (212) 306-4652 or TDD (212) 306-4445.

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  6. I am confined to a wheelchair and quite often can't get to my third floor apartment after regular business hours because the elevators are broken. What can I do?

    If the elevator is out of service after regular business hours, contact the Emergency Service Department (ESD) at (718) 707-7777 so that they can repair the elevator. If an immediate repair cannot be made ESD can use a Stair Lift to assist you in getting to your apartment. If frequent elevator outages occur, contact the Borough Management Office so that they can review the elevator repair record for your building and arrange for necessary repairs.

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Pets

  1. Are dogs allowed in Public Housing?

    Dogs are allowed in Public Housing as long as they are properly registered with the development Management Office and have necessary licenses, are spayed or neutered and have all necessary vaccinations. Newly obtained dogs may not weigh more than 25 pounds when fully grown. You should discuss the dog regulations with your Housing Assistant. See NYCHA's Pet Policy for more information.

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  2. How many pets can I have in my apartment?

    Residents may own one dog or one domesticated cat. The exception is for residents who possessed pets prior to the implementation NYCHA's May 1, 2002 Pet Policy. Those residents may keep the registered pets they had before if they can verify that they owned the pet prior to 5/1/02. However, when one of those pets dies, they can not be replaced. The one pet rule applies after that. Also, a person with disabilities who requires a service animal, such as a seeing-eye dog, may have such an animal in addition to the one pet. Residents may own other pets in accordance with the New York City Health Code, which includes small caged birds (parakeets, canaries), fish and small caged animals (hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs) as long as they do not create a nuisance.

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  3. What other rules apply to having a pet?

    Dogs MUST be on a leash 6-feet long or less in public areas. Pets must be licensed annually which costs $8.50 for spayed or neutered animals. If you have any questions you can call the N.Y.C. Department of Health at (212) 676-2118. Dogs are not permitted in Pet-Free Zones that include management offices, playgrounds, community centers, laundry rooms, basement areas, roofs or roof landings, and other places that have signs signifying a Pet-Free Zone. Dangerous dogs are not permitted in NYCHA apartments or grounds. Report all non-emergency concerns about dogs or other animals to your management office or call 3-1-1.

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  4. What determines if a dog is vicious?

    An animal that menaces, threatens, attacks or bites a person may be deemed as vicious. Such animals cannot be kept in NYCHA apartments. Call 9-1-1 to report an immediate threat regarding a vicious or dangerous dog.

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  5. How can I get rid of a pet or have it vaccinated?

    The Center for Animal Care and Control (CACC) or a veterinarian can guide you with both questions. The (CACC) can be reached at (718) 272-7200.

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Rent

  1. I think my recent rent increase was incorrectly calculated. Is there a way to check the accuracy of my rent?

    Rent should be no more than 30% of adjusted net income unless the family income has increased beyond the NYCHA income limits. In that case there are ceiling rent or prescribed rent caps for each apartment size. The adjusted net income is gross income less prescribed deductions. After checking with your Housing Assistant, if you still think there was an error, contact your Development Manager. Your Development Manager can schedule a review with an Impartial Hearing Officer who will make a determination regarding the accuracy of your rent calculation based on income information obtained for all family members.

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  2. I recently moved into this apartment and I have been charged rent from the day I was informed that the apartment was ready. Shouldn't I have been charged rent from the day I received the keys to the apartment.

    Rent starts on the day you receive the keys to the apartment, unless you agreed to a specific move-in date and/or you are responsible for the delay in renting.

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  3. I paid my rent this month. Why did I get a dispossess?

    Rent is due on the first business day of the month. If the rent is not paid after 14 days, a personal demand is made or 3-day notice is served. After the expiration of the personal demand or the three day notice a dispossess is issued. By paying rent early in the month, a dispossess and resulting legal action and fees can be avoided. The dispossess can cross in the mail with your rent payment. By paying rent early in the month, a dispossess can be avoided.

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  4. I received a notice informing me that I am a Chronic Rent Delinquent and that I must attend an administrative hearing. What is a Chronic Rent Delinquent? Am I going to be evicted?

    If you pay your rent late four times in twelve months, you are classified by NYCHA as a Chronic Rent Delinquent and termination of tenancy proceedings follow. In all instances, you will get several opportunities to explain your situation in front of an impartial hearing officer. It is important that you attend the hearing to explain why you couldn't pay the rent. If the matter is still unresolved you could be evicted for chronic rent delinquency.

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  5. I am out of work and notified my Housing Assistant. Why hasn't my rent been decreased?

    Any change of employment status must be reported within 30 days. If you are receiving unemployment benefits there is a two-month waiting period before rent is adjusted. The rent decrease will be retroactive and you will be credited for the two-month waiting period. If you are not receiving unemployment benefits, your rent may be adjusted the month after you report your change of employment status.
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Repairs

  1. I requested some routine repairs to be done several months ago and nothing has happened. Staff at the Management Office has informed me that there is no work request on record for this repair. How can this be?

    Traditionally, the Management Office has made two attempts to complete a work order. If the resident is not at home on the second occasion that the maintenance staff responds, the work order is closed out and a new work order must be generated. NYCHA is testing a new pilot program to schedule appointments for repairs for NYCHA residents residing in all Queens and Staten Island developments. We anticipate that the pilot program will be successful and will be implemented in all Boroughs in the future. Additionally, in cases where a pending repair can cause further damage to property, such as a leak or flood, the work order cannot be closed out until the repair is completed. When you call the Management Office to request a repair to be completed always ask for the work ticket number. If you visit the management office to request a repair, ask for a copy of the work order to keep as a record.

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  2. I contacted my Management Office and requested that repairs be made in my apartment. The repairs still have not been completed. Isn't management supposed to complete all repairs immediately?

    All work tickets are treated by priority of importance. Emergency repairs such as gas leaks, floods, clogged toilets, persons stuck in elevators, power failures, heat and hot water complaints, missing window guards, broken entrance doors, or any life-threatening situations must be completed immediately. Urgent repairs such as, clogged kitchen sink rains or an inoperative refrigerator must be completed within 48 hours. Routine repairs such as a dripping faucet or a broken window handle will generally be completed within 5 business days. If not, the matter should be reported to your Housing Assistant, Assistant Manager or Manager. If the matter is still not resolved call your Borough Management Office. The Borough Office will intervene on your behalf to have the repair(s) completed.

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  3. What is a Skilled Trade Work Repair?

    Skilled Trade repairs can include but are not limited to replacement of a kitchen cabinet, major plumbing repairs, wiring replacement and plastering work. All work completed by NYCHA's skilled trades staff should be completed within 20 days of the request. If not, the matter should be reported to your Housing Assistant, Assistant Manager or Manager. If the matter is still not resolved call your Borough Management Office. The Borough Office will intervene on your behalf to have the repair(s) completed.

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  4. We recently had renovations completed in our apartment by a NYCHA contractor. New cabinets were installed and they are defective. What do I do?

    Notify your Management Office. The Superintendent and the Contract Inspector will examine the work and notify the contractor if they find the work has been faulty. The contractor will replace the defective cabinets.

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  5. I have black mold in my bathroom and don't know what to do.

    Report the condition to your management office and they will take care of it. They can also advise you on how to avoid mold in the future and how to get rid of it yourself using a mixture of ordinary laundry bleach and water.

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  6. What about emergency repairs on weekends or off-hours?

    NYCHA's Emergency Services Department responds to requests for emergency repairs after the Management Office has closed on week days from 4:30 P.M. to 8:00 A.M. and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. All requests for emergency repairs should be reported to the Emergency Services Department at (718) 707-7777. Emergency repairs are: gas leaks, toilet stoppages that cause serious floods, passengers stuck in elevators, electrical power failures, sewer back-ups, apartment door and door knobs not working and heat and hot water issues.

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  7. When hot water or elevator maintenance is done, we never get any notification. What can I do about it?

    You are supposed to be notified by development staff and notices should be posted in the effected buildings. If your development management staff does not post service disruption notices notify your Manager. If you still are not being notified when about service disruptions you can, notify your Borough Management Office and they will make certain such notices are properly posted in the future.

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  8. Why is this apartment so cold during the day? Who can help me?

    The City's heat standards requires landlords to maintain apartments at 68 degrees from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. when the temperature outside is less than 55 degrees. If the heat in your apartment does not meet this standard, the maintenance staff will check your apartment and correct the situation.

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  9. Why do we run out of hot water so often in the morning or at dinnertime?

    NYCHA should be able to provide hot water if the system operates properly. Luke warm instead of hot water usually occurs because of peak demand on the heating system when people shower before going to work or when they return in the evening. Report inadequate hot water issues to your Housing Assistant.

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  10. How many air conditioners am I permitted to have in my apartment?

    Where the electrical service is sufficient to handle the additional electrical service a maximum of two air conditioners are permitted. Where developments do not have the appropriate electrical capacity to accommodate air conditioners, you may have two special outlets installed for air conditioning. The cost for the additional outlet(s) is $2.00 per month for one outlet or $4.00 per month for 2 outlets. The additional outlet charge is paid for a period of ten years, then it ceases. The charge for additional consumption of electricity for air conditioners is $7.00 per month per air conditioner. Residents must request permission to install an air conditioner prior to the installation and should discuss whether additional electrical outlets are required with their Housing Assistant.

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  11. Will NYCHA pay for damage to personal property as a result of a flood in my apartment?

    Yes, NYCHA will reimburse you for expenses for a flood it was through no fault of yours. Ask your Housing Assistant how to file a personal property damage claim. You will have to supply receipts showing dates of purchase and cost of damaged items. If the cause of the flood was the fault of another resident such as a broken washing machine hose, you should contact that resident for any damage settlement.

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Security/Quality of Life Issues

  1. I have noisy neighbors who constantly disturb me. What can be done about this?

    Report the situation to 3-1-1. Do not call 911. Also, advise your Housing Assistant who will meet with the noisy neighbors to try to resolve the situation. When you report the matter to your Housing Assistant, you are in effect creating a record. If the noisy neighbors do not respond and the allegation is substantiated by management administrative action can be initiated to terminate the family's tenancy.

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  2. My neighbors are selling drugs out of the apartment next door. What do I do?

    You can report it to your Manager who will keep the information confidential and then notify the Police Department. Or, you can report it directly to the Police Department yourself by calling 911.

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  3. I have received a Termination of Tenancy notice because my grandson had a problem with the police. Is this fair?

    NYCHA has the right to deny persons with criminal records residency in order to provide a safe environment for all residents. If someone was arrested and gave your address or was arrested and resides in your apartment, you will have an opportunity to a hearing before any eviction proceedings are undertaken. If the crime was very serious and the offender is convicted, you may have to agree to permanently exclude that individual from your apartment.

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  4. Is it true that if someone is arrested for a felony drug offense that they cannot visit any NYCHA development?

    This is true. NYCHA has implemented a no trespass policy which denies access onto NYCHA property to anyone arrested for a felony drug offense on or adjacent to NYCHA buildings and grounds. This policy seeks to combat drug-related crime and protect residents in the City's public housing.

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  5. Why doesn't my development have the closed circuit cameras to monitor our buildings and surrounding areas to prevent crime?

    The closed circuit camera monitoring program has significantly reduced crime at developments where they have been installed. However, the systems are expensive and funding is limited. NYCHA has installed some smaller CCTV systems where local elected officials have obtained funding for the installation.

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  6. A rude NYCHA employee has mistreated me. How do I make a complaint against that person?

    Request an appointment to discuss this with your Manager. If you don't get any results, report the matter to your Borough Management Office or call 3-1-1.

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Transfers / Moving

  1. Can I transfer to another apartment in my current development or another development?

    Your Housing Assistant can clarify the various transfer guidelines. Some reasons that NYCHA may deem appropriate for a transfer include, being overcrowded, having an apartment that is too large for your family, travel hardship in getting to your job, or the need to be closer to a medical facility or family member who needs your help, or whom you can help, due to aging or health. You must fully document your need for a transfer.

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  2. When should I inform NYCHA that I am moving out of my apartment?

    You must notify NYCHA at least one full calendar month before you move out.

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  3. How can I find out about the status of my transfer request?

    Visit or call your Housing Assistant and request the status of your transfer request. There is no way to tell when vacancies will occur therefore we can't tell you when you will be called for an apartment. There is also no way to predict when a person's referral will be selected because the TSAP computerized waiting list continually selects the application or transfer request with the highest priority and certification date. We can however tell you how many families are waiting for the same size apartment at the development where you are on the waiting list. After waiting two years without being called for an apartment, you may request that your transfer be assigned to another development. You can choose this development from the Interviewers Guide to Vacancies which lists developments with greater vacancy rates.

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  4. I was approved for a transfer before my neighbor was. Why did they get an apartment first?

    Your neighbor's circumstances may have been different from yours. They may have required a transfer because of health reasons or they may have needed a different size apartment than you or the development they transferred to might have had a greater turnover of apartments.

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  5. Why must I transfer to a smaller apartment?

    According to NYCHA procedure, the number of occupants residing in the apartment determines the number of rooms assigned. If you have too many rooms, the lease requires you to sign a consent form and move to a correct size apartment. You may choose any development and will stay on their waiting list for one year. After that, you will be placed on a waiting list for the correct size apartment at your current development.

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  6. I live alone in a one bedroom apartment and am moving out of the City. Can my daughter take over the apartment?

    In order to sign a lease and take over your apartment the person must be a part of your immediate family and must have lived in the apartment with NYCHA's knowledge and permission at least one year prior to your moving. That person must pass a criminal background check and have their income verified to meet the criteria of a new resident before getting a lease.

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  7. My mother is terminally ill. If I move in to her apartment to care for her, will I be able to keep the apartment for myself as a remaining family member?

    As of November 24, 2002, your mother may request permanent residency for you subject to approval by the Housing Manager. However, for you to retain the apartment for yourself you will have had to live there continuously with the Manager's approval for a full year before your mother passed away. Also, at least one person in your new household must have a verifiable income; the family must be income eligible for public housing and must pass all requirements for new applicants.

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  8. Can I transfer to a housing development for senior citizens?

    Yes. There are 42 NYCHA developments exclusively for seniors 62 years of age or older. In addition, there are "senior only buildings" at 15 of NYCHA's 345 mixed-population developments. Most of the senior developments offer services specifically aimed at seniors. There are more than 10,000 apartments in the "senior only buildings." Seniors also live in mixed-population buildings for a total of almost 63,000 seniors residing in NYCHA developments. All members of the household in a senior only building must be 62 or older.

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