FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 21, 2016
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Community Leaders, Advocates, & Residents Support Expanded Service Hours
NYCHA’s expanded service hours initiative (FlexOps) garners support from faith and advocacy leaders, as a transformational way to better serve NYCHA residents
Nathaniel Green, Dyckman Houses Resident Association President, said, “Residents have been fighting for greater staff flexibility for years. Now, with FlexOps, we no longer have to choose between working to take care of our families and staying home to get repairs done. With these new flexible shifts, NYCHA staff will be able to work with residents, from morning to evening, as a team, to get things done and make our developments stronger. This is the level of customer service our residents deserve."
Damaris Reyes, Baruch Houses resident and Executive Director of Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), said, “As a resident, I believe FlexOps will improve maintenance and quality of life for public housing tenants. All too often, off-hours repairs aren’t made quickly enough because there isn’t adequate staff on-site. This new system will create flexibility – most importantly, for working residents – by ensuring developments are staffed at hours that are convenient for all, and responsive to modern, busy schedules. We are thrilled that NYCHA is pushing forward with this monumental change.”
Valerie Bell, Wyckoff Houses Resident Association President, said, "As a resident, I can speak from experience about having to choose between going to work and repairing my home. That tough choice is one nobody should have to make. NYCHA residents deserve consistent service that does not disrupt their lives or force them to make sacrifices – and FlexOps will guarantee they get that service. These new shifts give residents and staff alike the flexibility to schedule work as works best for them, which will improve the community for everyone.”
Reverend Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, Senior Pastor of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, said, “as residents themselves will tell you, the FlexOps program is finally bringing NYCHA into the 21st century – when life happens 24/7, not from 8 to 4 pm. For far too long, rigid work schedules did not match residents’ realities – and this prevented timely and effective upkeep of NYCHA developments. Increased staff flexibility means working residents will finally have access to round-the-clock service they have asked for and deserve – much like New Yorkers outside of public housing have come to expect. This strategy should be a model for public housing across the country."
Reverend Frederick Davie, Executive Vice President of the Union Theological Seminary, said, "It is important for working people trying to provide for their families that NYCHA should be flexible in scheduling appointments for repairs. People should not have to choose between their jobs and a NYCHA appointment."
Shatia Strother, Program Coordination, Families United for Racial and Ethnic Equality (FUREE), said, “FUREE fully supports NYCHA’s efforts to move forward with FlexOps, which represents reform that residents have long called-for. We commend NYCHA for placing resident needs at the forefront of policy decisions, which will improve standard of living for all. This more effective delivery of services will restore residents’ dignity and create thriving communities residents can be proud to call home.”
Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director of the Fifth Avenue Committee, said, “No one, regardless of their address, should be denied the fundamental dignity of clean housing conditions and repairs or office appointments that accommodate working families. Extending service hours is a concrete way NYCHA can improve the lives of thousands of families living in public housing.”
Ismene Speliotis, Executive Director of the Mutual Housing Association of New York, said, “working public housing residents can now get repairs without choosing between going to work to support their families and keeping their appointments with the management office for necessary repairs. Expanding hours of service is common sense and a simple way to help improve the quality of life throughout public housing. It will go a long way to more timely repair work getting scheduled and completed.”
Flexible Operations (FlexOps): Expanded Service Hours is a transformative initiative to extend NYCHA’s hours for completing routine repairs, cleaning common areas, and scheduling meetings with property management. This initiative will create a new, staggered shift schedule for frontline staff, including caretakers, maintenance works, property managers and support staff. A recent survey of more than 1,400 public housing residents, including 58 resident leaders, found that 94 percent supported extending NCYHA’s service hours beyond the traditional 8:00 am – 4:30 pm hours.
Watch NYCHA Chair & CEO Shola Olatoye’s FlexOps video message to residents here.