January 2, 2014. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced today that as of January 1, 2014, it has successfully reduced its backlog of open maintenance and repair requests to approximately 16,000 open work orders, down from 333,000 at the beginning of 2013. With 90,000 open work orders representing normal work in process, this reduction brings the total number of open work orders at NYCHA down from 423,000 to 106,000.
“We are very proud of our staff’s work, which has resulted in reducing the backlog by 95 percent, as they have been focused on this goal during the entire year, and it is good to see so much progress,” said NYCHA General Manager Cecil House. “With open work orders now at 16,000, this is the equivalent to the number of work orders NYCHA creates in 12 days. At these numbers, the Authority will be able to better manage the workload and continue to deliver improved service levels and response times to NYCHA residents in the months to come.”
The success of NYCHA’s maintenance and repair program can be seen in the improved scores of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) annual Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS). The overall PHAS scores NYCHA received for its developments this year showed a 10 percent increase since their last inspection, an improvement driven by a 20 percent gain in the scores obtained last time 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.
Since the beginning of the year, NYCHA has closed more than 2.6 million repair work orders. Over 2.3 million new work orders have been created this year, an average of about 9,000 new work orders each workday. 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 15 days citywide. In the Bronx, the average response time is 7 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 80 and 148 days, respectively, down from more than 270 days at the beginning of the year. NYCHA will continue to focus on reducing these response times to meet the target of an average of 15 days.
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 work in providing residents with the services they need relies on the active engagement of all of NYCHA’s employees.