Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 4, 2013
Contact:, (212) 306-3322

NYCHA Eliminates More than 233,000 Repair Work Orders from Its Backlog

NYCHA is working to clear the entire backlog of repairs in 2013

The New York City Housing Authority today announced that as of September 1, 2013, it has reduced the number of open work orders from a peak of about 423,000 to approximately 189,800. The current decrease of more than 233,000 work orders means that NYCHA has now reduced the backlog by approximately 70 percent, and is more than about halfway toward achieving the target of eliminating the backlog by the end of 2013. This reduction is a result of NYCHA’s Action Plan to improve its accountability and efficiency in responding to maintenance and repair work orders. At the conclusion of this initiative, the Authority anticipates that the number of work orders that will be open at any given time will be approximately 90,000. This represents the number of work orders NYCHA would have if workers were handling maintenance requests in an average of 7 days, and more complex requests in an average of 15-days.

Since the beginning of the year NYCHA has created about 1.5 million new repair work orders and closed about 1.6 million work orders. NYCHA has also reduced the average time it takes to address key work, including roof fans, front doors, intercoms, mildew and extermination to less than two weeks. By systematically reviewing the work orders, the Authority has been able to better assess the work that has been done and is still needed. What has become clear is that NYCHA will need to prioritize its work given the budget constraints, which worsened with sequestration. Recognizing that there are limited resources, NYCHA staff will not be able to address work that is primarily to improve the appearance of apartments until the fiscal situation improves. Work orders for painting provide an example of this new prioritization.

Currently there are about 36,000 vendor work orders for painting, and about 16,000 paint requests for a room or wall are also awaiting NYCHA painters. These painting work orders will be reexamined: top priority will go to those where the painting is needed to coat and protect walls after plaster work, or after other repairs affecting the wall.

NYCHA has received help to address these open work orders with $10 million allocated by the City Council to hire painter apprentices. NYCHA will hire 175 residents as apprentice painters, and these trainees will begin painting units this month. District Council No. 9, NYCHA’s union partner on this initiative, has completed the initial training program for the first group of 63 painter apprentices, who began (will begin) painting on September 3, 2013.

To date, NYCHA has added 565 employees to support the overall work order reduction plan, including 389 new maintenance and skilled trade workers.

Vacations and reduced summer work hours have challenged NYCHA throughout the summer. During the next several months NYCHA will face additional challenges as it goes through its annual HUD inspections and will need to focus on public space work in addition to the work in the apartments.

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 each for 2012 and 2013). 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.