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De Blasio Administration Announces Start of $87 Million Queensbridge Houses Roof Replacement

August 24, 2015

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26 buildings at nation’s largest housing development to have new roofs by July 2017

NEW YORK – Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Housing Authority Chair Shola Olatoye announced the start of rooftop replacement construction at Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, underscoring a core commitment of NextGeneration NYCHA to preserve and maintain NYCHA’s precious housing stock

“Having a roof over your head isn’t good enough if it leaks all the time,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re investing $300 million to replace roofs at NYCHA developments across the city to attack decades of neglect that for too long has been the status quo. NextGeneration NYCHA goes beyond fixing what’s broken and lays the groundwork to make NYCHA physically and economically healthy for generations to come.”

“Today, we announce the beginning of our comprehensive roof replacement plan, restoring 66 of our worst roofs throughout New York City. This not only fulfills an early commitment made to NYCHA residents, it is also one of the most aggressive efforts we’ve taken to curb the presence of leaks and mold at our buildings. Under the leadership of Chair Shola Olatoye and Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYCHA is fulfilling the vision of Next Generation through addressing our infrastructure problems head-on—changing our operating structure, rehabilitating our developments, and sealing our most distressed buildings,” said NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly.

Leaky roofs are the main cause of water and moisture entering a building, and the accumulated moisture contributes to mold, leaks and physical damage to the buildings structure. These vital repairs will decrease the number of leaks in NYCHA buildings, and move the Authority towards completing the critical infrastructure repairs committed to residents. The City has invested $300 million over the next three years to fund roof replacements, and NYCHA’s pairing an additional $80 million in federal public housing capital funds this year to supplement this investment.

By replacing roofs at Queensbrige Houses,  NYCHA will:

  • Preserve physical structures by safeguarding them from incoming moisture, saving money on repairing moisture damage
  • Eliminate core symptoms of mold in NYCHA buildings, protecting residents and improving their quality of life
  • Reduce operating expenses by making buildings more efficient

Queensbridge North and South together make up the largest public housing development in North America, with over 3,000 units and over 7,000 residents. NYCHA will replace roofs on 26 residential buildings at Queensbridge, including additionally repairing exterior brickwork, replacing window sills, and removing parapet walls to facilitate new roof railing installation. The work, which represents an $87 million investment, includes $60 million in funding from the city and $27 million in federal funding. Construction is expected to be completed by July 2017.

Last month, the administration announced in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) a $10 million investment in free high-speed broadband service in five public housing developments citywide, including Queensbridge North and South. Additionally, Queensbridge is one of 15 NYCHA developments targeted by the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety, a comprehensive initiative to reduce crime and strengthen neighborhoods in the 15 New York City Housing Authority developments that account for 20 percent of all violent crime in the City’s public housing. As of August 16, major crime in Queensbridge had decline 18.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

“As a representative of the 8th district, which is home to the most public housing in New York City, I welcome the city’s investment in maintaining livable conditions for NYCHA residents,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “This investment takes a big step in the right direction toward the long overdue goal of repairing and renovating NYCHA buildings that for too long have been neglected. I thank the de Blasio administration and my colleagues in the Council for their continued commitment to improving housing for NYCHA residents across the city.”

“The new roofs are a necessary and substantial capital improvement for the 7,000+ residents of Queensbridge Houses," said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. "Thousands of NYCHA families have long-deserved better, and this investment signals the administration's commitment to wholesale repairs and improvements in NYCHA housing conditions. Queens lauds Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Housing Authority, led by Chairperson Shola Olatoye, for prioritizing this important investment in the City's housing stock that will directly impact Queens families."

“For too long residents of these five NYCHA Housing Developments have had to put up with unacceptable conditions,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “Now, thanks to this $300 million investment, and an additional $80 million in federal funds, NYCHA can begin to make essential roof repairs. However, this is just the beginning. We will need more funding to ensure that every NYCHA roof sees the necessary repairs. When it is fully completed this renovation will put an end to leaks, water damage, and mold. NYCHA residents will no longer have to worry that their belongings will be destroyed, or their health put in jeopardy. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for finally putting resources into this critical area to kick off such a long-needed project, and look forward to working with him to obtain the rest of the funding necessary to see it through.”

“Queensbridge residents have waited too long for simple repairs that will create a healthier and safer environment. These new repairs will improve living conditions and better the quality of life for thousands of our neighbors. I thank Mayor deBlasio for beginning this crucial work right here in Queensbridge and will continue to do all I can to help NYCHA preserve public housing for present and future generations,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris.

“I am pleased to see this great investment in improving the infrastructure at Queensbridge Houses is underway," said Assembly Member Catherine Nolan. "My grandmother's family moved into Queensbridge shortly after it opened in 1939. Since then, thousands of families have benefited from affordable housing. The residents of Queensbridge deserve to live in a safe, healthy environment. Repairing and improving these roofs is much needed.”

“I applaud the de Blasio Administration for kick-starting our City’s $300 million investment into roof replacements at NYCHA developments across the five boroughs and starting this work in the Queensbridge Houses,” said Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “This critical investment is aggressively tackling the root cause of mold that has plagued NYCHA for decades. Queensbridge residents have waited for these critical repairs for years and under the de Blasio Administration we are seeing real results that will help protect the health and safety of nearly 13,000 residents who call NYCHA home throughout our City.”

“The City’s investment of 300 million dollars, over the next three years, will improve the lives of thousands of public housing residents battling mold and leaks in their apartments. The Mayor is putting his money where his mouth is, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in preserving the most precious stock of affordable housing in New York City. There is a word for this rare quality: leadership.” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

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