The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today announced that as of December 1, 2013, it has reduced its backlog to approximately 48,000 from a peak of 333,000. With this reduction, the total number of open work orders is 138,300, which includes a baseline of about 90,000 work orders considered to be routine, in-progress work. NYCHA began its Action Plan with 423,000 open work orders, including the 90,000 baseline. The Authority has now reduced the backlog of work orders by approximately 85 percent and anticipates that by the end of 2013, the backlog will be reduced by 93 percent, to approximately 24,000. The success of NYCHA’s maintenance and repair program can be seen in the results of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) annual Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS). The PHAS scores NYCHA has received this year have improved by an average of 8 percent for each development overall since its last inspection, an improvement driven by a 20 percent increase in the scores obtained within apartments. PHAS inspections are conducted by independent, third-party inspectors hired by HUD. This independent assessment confirms that the work NYCHA has performed has positively impacted the conditions in which our residents live.
The reduction of 16,000 open work orders achieved during the month of November continues a year of steady progress that has resulted in closing 285,000 of the 423,000 original open work orders. In addition, NYCHA has completed the work required for another 16,000 work orders, and will close these to accurately reflect the work already finished. Once these 16,000 work orders are closed, NYCHA will have a total backlog of 32,000 work orders. Since the beginning of the year, NYCHA has eliminated more than 2.4 million repair work orders, and nearly 2.1 million new work orders have been created.
Along with reducing the total number of open work orders, NYCHA has also reduced the average time it takes to respond to work requested by residents. For example, the average time it takes to respond to a request for maintenance has been reduced to 20 days citywide. In the Bronx, the average response time is 8 days and in Queens and Staten Island, the average is 10 days. These response times are advancing toward the target of 7 days on average. Response times for most other repair requests also show significant improvement, with the average time to address key work, including front doors, compactors, intercoms, mildew and extermination, now less than two weeks. There is still more work to be done, and in some skilled trades the wait time is still considerable. The average response times for carpenters and plasterers are currently 92 and 155 days, respectively, down from more than 270 days at the beginning of the year. NYCHA continues to focus on reducing these response times to meet the target of an average of 15 days.
NYCHA employees – including members of District Council 37; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local #3; the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 237; the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Local Union 1969, District Council 9; the Plumbers and Gasfitters Union, Local 1; and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the NYC District Council of Carpenters – have been critical to the success of the Action Plan, providing exemplary service to the residents of public housing and the City of New York. Throughout this process, these employees have come up with creative and innovative solutions to provide better service to the residents of public housing. The continued progress in eliminating the backlog relies on the active engagement of all of NYCHA’s employees.