In January 2013, Mayor Bloomberg and NYCHA announced an aggressive Action Plan to eliminate a backlog of outstanding maintenance and repair work orders by the end of the year.
Thanks to the efforts of NYCHA staff citywide and the support of community partners and elected officials, including the City Council, we are pleased to report that the number of open maintenance and repair work orders has been reduced from 422,639 on January 1, 2013, to 244,199 as of June 1, 2013. This reduction of 178,440 work orders positions NYCHA to achieve our goal of eliminating the backlog by the end of 2013.
NYCHA has continued to focus on the efficiency and quality of our repair efforts. Over the past months, staff members have directed significant time, energy, and resources throughout the five boroughs to resolve numerous maintenance and repair requests, allowing us to reduce our outstanding number of work orders. We redistributed staff members geographically, ensuring that each development has sufficient representation from each skilled trade; made targeted contact with groups of residents who need similar kinds of work done, ensuring that each staff member can complete more repairs each day; and continued to schedule repairs more effectively. NYCHA has also improved performance management systems and the availability of materials. In order to better engage NYCHA’s field staff, NYCHA developed a presentation in which the Property Management Directors, the Executive Vice President for Operations, and the General Manager discuss key aspects of the Plan and the specific challenges facing each borough and/or development. After the presentation at each development, managers and superintendents encouraged staff to share their observations, comments, and concerns about how the Plan is progressing.
In addition, we have significantly more staff to perform repairs at the developments. To date, NYCHA has added 565 employees to support the work order reduction plan, including 389 new maintenance and skilled trade workers and 176 maintenance support workers hired in 2012 and funded by a $10 million allocation from the City Council. The results are significant – over the first five months of the year, NYCHA workers closed 178,440 more work orders than were created during this period, reducing the work order backlog by that amount.
As NYCHA continues to implement the Action Plan throughout the year, residents will begin to see shorter wait times to address issues in their apartments. NYCHA's ultimate goal is to meet a service level expectation of responding to maintenance requests within an average of seven days and addressing complex maintenance requests within an average of 15 days. Emergency repairs will continue to be handled within an average of 24 hours. Currently, NYCHA is addressing mildew, intercom, compactor, roof fans, doors, and public space lighting repairs in less than two weeks.
Chart 1 outlines in green bars the number of actual maintenance and repair work orders outstanding from January 1, 2013, to June 1, 2013. The chart also shows in blue bars NYCHA’s forecast for reducing the backlog over the next six months. Over the past five months, the number of work orders outstanding dropped from a high of 422,639 work orders on January 1, 2013, to 244,199 work orders on June 1, 2013 (a reduction of 178,440). As there will always be “work-in-progress,” based on the new Service Level Goal, NYCHA estimates that it will have approximately 90,000 work orders in progress at any one point in time after the backlog has been eliminated.
Chart 2 provides an average daily rate of reduction of the backlog from week to week. In order to meet our goal of eliminating the backlog, NYCHA needs to close more work orders than are created. To compute this chart, NYCHA looked at the total number of work orders created and subtracted the total number of work orders closed and cancelled. The difference, if positive, is the reduction in the backlog. For example, during the week of May 13, 2013, NYCHA staff on average closed approximately 1,338 more work orders than were created each day, thus reducing the backlog by approximately 1,338 work orders.
Chart 3 highlights how NYCHA performed against its Service Level Goal. Currently, NYCHA is working toward meeting higher productivity goals with the expectation that maintenance and skilled trade work order completions will be done on average within 7-15 days. NYCHA is on track to achieving these goals. From April to May, the average number of days to respond and complete work orders for maintenance issues decreased by 13 days. Meanwhile, during that same period, the number of days to respond and complete skilled trade work orders increased by two days. An increase in response and completion time reflects NYCHA’s efforts to address the work orders outstanding (in terms of days) for very long periods of time. As older work orders are closed, we expect to see a significant improvement in our service level performance.
Plan NYCHA: Expedite Maintenance and Repairs
NYCHA outlined maintenance and repairs as a top priority in our strategic roadmap Plan NYCHA.