The New York City Housing Authority today announced as of May 1, 2013, it has reduced the number of open work orders to less than 274,000 from a peak of 423,000. The reduction is a result of NYCHA’s Action Plan to improve its efficiency in responding to maintenance and repair work orders. The decrease of approximately 149,000 work orders positions NYCHA to achieve its goal of eliminating the backlog by the end of 2013. 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 achieving its target service level expectation in a number of key areas, including addressing mildew, intercoms and compactors issues, and roof fans.
NYCHA has significantly improved its ability to close outstanding work requests following implementation of its Action Plan. While NYCHA continues to implement components of its Action Plan, to date it 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. NYCHA has also improved its performance management systems; improved the availability of materials; improved work order coordination and planning; and modified its work management system, along with other process improvements.
NYCHA’s Action Plan is based on a combination of internal process improvements and additional resources made available through internally generated savings ($30 million) and City Council funds ($10 million). These amounts, when combined with efficiencies in NYCHA’s existing operations, fund NYCHA’s Action Plan. The Action Plan was developed by NYCHA management with input from employees, residents, the labor unions representing NYCHA workers, and advocacy groups. NYCHA will continue to provide regular progress updates on this initiative on its website, www.nyc.gov/nycha.
In response to questions regarding a recent report on spikes in cancellations of NYCHA repair requests:
Cancellations are a normal part of NYCHA's work management process and typically increase in the winter, and the first quarter of 2013 was largely in line with the same period of 2012. Seasonal increases are related to how we process requests for heat repairs and adjustments, and are not related to NYCHA's Action Plan to eliminate its backlog of repair requests. With mobile boilers in place following Hurricane Sandy, NYCHA received elevated duplicate requests for heat adjustments. In each case, after the issue was resolved, the initial request was closed and the subsequent requests were cancelled. Heat complaints make up half of all cancellations. Notably, maintenance-related cancellations, the second most common type, are down overall in 2013.