Proposals will streamline NYCHA management and bring transparency and accountability to the Housing Authority

City Hall, NY – Today, Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Public Housing Committee Chair Rosie Mendez laid out broad-ranging proposals to improve the management of the New York City Housing Authority.

The reforms will increase accountability at NYCHA and will bring transparency to the housing authority by overhauling its flawed Section 8 computer system and enabling New Yorkers to check the status of outstanding work orders online.

“Effective management starts from the top,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “If NYCHA is serious about improving its accountability to the more than 400,000 New Yorkers who call its developments home, NYCHA will immediately enact our sensible recommendations to increase transparency and reduce bureaucracy.”

“These common sense, reform-minded recommendations are designed to empower and support tenants while increasing the overall transparency, accountability and efficiency of NYCHA,” said Council Member Rosie Mendez. “They are born of grassroots feedback and respond to concerns that have been raised at our Public Housing Committee Hearings. From overhauling the Centralized Call Center and Section 8 Computer System—to bringing the Work Order Request online—these initiatives will allow us to better serve New Yorkers. I look forward to partnering with NYCHA as we seek to implement these critical proposals.”

Specifically, Speaker Quinn and Council Member Mendez’s recommendations call for:

• Overhaul of the Centralized Call Center and the Section 8 Computer System
Improving NYCHA’s management and making sure staff is properly trained is essential in increasing accountability at the housing authority.

Speaker Quinn and Council Member Mendez urged NYCHA to overhaul its centralized call center and to improve oversight of its computerized Section 8 system, which is responsible for sending erroneous eviction notices to tenants and for wrongly cutting off landlords from rent payments. In addition, Speaker Quinn and Council Member Mendez called on NYCHA to re-train staff on proper procedures to ensure errors are fixed sooner.

• Monthly Reporting of Work Order Requests and Changes
Speaker Quinn and Council Member Mendez proposed NYCHA make public information easily accessible by posting all Call Center work order requests online. Speaker Quinn and Council Member Mendez also called on NYCHA to issue monthly reports detailing changes in work orders to allow tenants to track the status of their requests and enable NYCHA to identify the developments most in need of repairs.

• Implementation of Inventory Tracking and Asset Management Systems
Speaker Quinn and Council Member Mendez called on NYCHA to implement an asset management system that will allow NYCHA to monitor and track the status of critical infrastructure, including boilers, roofs and plumbing, at all NYCHA developments.

Additionally, the Council called on NYCHA to streamline inventory tracking to identify assets and inventory to reduce redundancy and waste.

Today’s recommendations are part of the City Council’s on-going efforts to improve NYCHA’s operations. Last Thursday, the Council held an oversight hearing to examine NYCHA’s performance during Hurricane Sandy.