The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today announced a streamlined process for completing repairs and removing sidewalk sheds at dozens of developments in New York City. In 2013 alone, NYCHA removed sidewalk sheds at 188 buildings in 52 developments – a total of 15.5 miles of sheds. This represents a 38 percent decrease overall. These efforts are part of NYCHA’s overall commitment to improving the quality of life for residents and being responsive to their concerns. NYCHA has implemented a new internal strategy, working closely with NYC’s Department of Buildings (DOB), to more rapidly remove sheds once work is complete; and to deconstruct additional sidewalk sheds that have remained in place long after completed work.
“For too long, NYCHA residents have had to live with sidewalk sheds still in place for years after the work that made them necessary was completed,” said NYCHA General Manager Cecil House. “Once repairs are completed, they should be removed promptly. NYCHA staff assessed the reasons that these sheds remained in place for so long and developed a new approach, with cooperation from the Department of Buildings, to begin unfettered access to sidewalks and surrounding areas at developments where the sheds are no longer needed. Future work at NYCHA also will benefit from this new approach.”
Sidewalk sheds are installed to protect pedestrians during construction work above or when façade conditions present a danger to the public. As a result, these sheds cannot be removed until the construction work is completed, or the conditions are corrected. The majority of the sidewalk sheds at NYCHA developments were erected in compliance with Local Law 11/1998, which requires owners of properties seven stories or taller to have exterior walls and appurtenances inspected every five years and file a technical façade report with the DOB. Under Local Law 11/98, if defects are found in a building’s facade, such as cracked bricks or loose masonry, a sidewalk shed must be installed immediately and remain in place until repairs are completed. NYCHA has 2,698 buildings, of which approximately 2,600 are residential, and about 1,600 of those buildings require inspection under Local Law 11/98.
As of Jan. 24, 2014, the existing sheds in place at NYCHA total 130,194 linear feet, or 24.6 miles. While four of New York City’s five boroughs have sidewalk sheds in place to accommodate inspections, or for capital construction work, most of the sheds in place are in the Bronx and Brooklyn (there are none in Staten Island). Since undertaking the new approach, NYCHA has removed long-standing sheds at 18 developments in the Bronx; 17 developments in Brooklyn (including the Van Dyke Houses this week); 12 developments in Manhattan; and five in Queens.
“I am so happy…people can finally see,” said Resident Association President Lisa Kenner. “I’m glad they’re coming down and they can’t come down soon enough.”
The list of these developments is posted to NYCHA’s website at http://on.nyc.gov/nycha-sidewalk-shed-status/. NYCHA’s efforts were supported by Capital funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.