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GOVERNOR HOCHUL, MAYOR ADAMS, NYCHA UNDERTAKE EFFORT TO REPLACE ELEVATORS IN DEVELOPMENTS SERVING NEARLY 34,000 RESIDENTS

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Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and interim New York City Housing Authority CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt announced that Phase I planning for critical capital work has begun to replace 335 elevators at 20 NYCHA developments, as part of a $300 million funding agreement with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York that was signed in April 2022. The financing was made possible through close collaboration between NYCHA, the New York State Legislature, and Governor Hochul — who all worked together to develop a framework for modernizing NYCHA’s elevator infrastructure, as outlined in the 2019 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development agreement.

“With this important milestone, NYCHA is set to begin major building improvements, leveraging $300 million in state investment to improve the homes and lives of thousands of New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “Right now, as our state faces a dire shortage of safe, stable, and accessible housing, my administration is committed to preserving our housing stock — which is why I signed legislation to create the New York City Public Housing Preservation Trust last year. I am proud to partner with NYCHA, its residents, and local and state officials, and look forward to even more opportunities to grow and support NYCHA communities.”

“Every day, NYCHA residents experience the consequences of decades of underinvestment and tens of billions of dollars in capital needs. Providing them the quality of life that every New Yorker deserves requires creativity and partnership — and this agreement represents both,” said Mayor Adams. “With the Public Housing Preservation Trust, the PACT program, and programs like this, we are giving residents a true menu of options to get the repairs they need in their homes in the way they prefer. I want to thank all of our partners in Albany for their investment in NYCHA, and I look forward to getting this work done to help 34,000 New Yorkers avoid dangerous broken elevators.”

“Bringing critical repairs to NYCHA requires an all-hands effort, and we are incredibly grateful for the partnership of the State for this $300 million in capital funding. Soon, 34,000 New Yorkers will have the relief that everyone should enjoy with reliable and safe elevators,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “We look forward to continuing to work with the state and all other government partners to bring NYCHA residents the quality of life they deserve.”

“The funds provided through this agreement will enable us to address a key physical element of our building infrastructure: the elevator service that our residents need and depend on,” said Interim New York City Housing Authority CEO Bova-Hiatt. “We are incredibly grateful for the support and advocacy of Governor Hochul, the leaders of the New York State Senate and Assembly, and DASNY for executing this funding agreement and allocating these vital streams of capital financing at a critical time in the life of the Authority.”

“DASNY is proud to play a role in supporting this fundamental and essential improvement to the Authority’s infrastructure,” said Dormitory Authority of the State of New York President and CEO Reuben McDaniel III. “We are grateful to Governor Hochul for her leadership and to the Legislature’s support in addressing these needs. We look forward to NYCHA moving this portfolio swiftly forward to the benefit of NYCHA residents.”

Nearly 34,000 residents living in almost 16,000 apartments will benefit from improved elevator service at the 20 developments, which include six senior-designated campuses. Consistent elevator service is particularly important for seniors and residents with mobility impairments; NYCHA has over 78,000 residents above the age of 62, and nearly 40 percent of NYCHA households are headed by a resident over the age of 62. NYCHA elevators also serve more than 31,000 mobility impaired residents.

NYCHA’s elevator stock is old, with the longest-running traction elevators in the portfolio installed 32 years ago in 1990. All the elevators identified in the State Capital Revitalization Plan are at or beyond the typical useful life of 15 to 20 years for a multifamily residential property.

The New York State Legislature allocated $300 million to NYCHA in the 2020 and 2021 state budgets to upgrade the oldest elevators in the Authority’s portfolio. NYCHA first presented the State Capital Revitalization Plan in September 2021 to outline its approach to achieving this goal, and it was approved by DASNY in the most recent funding agreement.

The funding allowed the planning process for elevator replacement to begin in early April. The timeline for elevator replacement work across the 20 different sites is estimated to range from 49 months (Cassidy-Lafayette Houses) to 81 months (Marcy Houses), depending on the number of elevators that need to be replaced and the age of the relevant developments. All elevator construction work is scheduled to be complete by early December 2028.

A full list of the developments that will receive elevator upgrades is available here.

This effort builds upon Governor Hochul’sdedication to provide safe, stable homes for New York public housing residents. Since 2016, New York State has provided over $1.2 billion to NYCHA, with $350 million allocated in FY 2023. These critical investments have been used toward heating, security, elevator, and other improvements, along with quality-of-life enhancements.

In June, Governor Hochul signed legislationcreating the New York City Public Housing Preservation Trust, a public benefit corporation, to help fund repair, rehabilitation, and modernization of 25,000 apartments under NYCHA control. The Trust also guarantees homes are kept affordable by preserving rights that ensure residents only pay 30 percent of their income toward rent, residents maintain all current succession rights, apartments will continue to be reserved for low-income residents, and that apartment vacancies will continue to be filled using the NYCHA waiting list.

Representative Nicole Malliotakis said, “In Congress, I’ve worked with NYCHA and HUD leadership to improve the quality of life for tenants and I’m pleased to see the Mayor and Governor also take attention to this issue with critical repairs to elevator service. We must continue to work at all levels of government to ensure all residents can live in safe, dignified housing and I look forward to continuing to work with my city and state partners to hold NYCHA accountable and advocate for tenants in the future.”

Representative Ritchie Torres said, “As someone who was raised in public housing with family like my own mother who still lives there, I understand how important it is to have safe, reliable, and working elevators as a means for going about every day life. This will be a significant improvement for tens of thousands of my fellow New Yorkers, including the most vulnerable among us like seniors and those with mobility challenges.”

Representative Dan Goldman said, “We have an obligation to ensure that NYCHA tenants are living with the dignity and respect they deserve. I commend Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams for taking much-needed action on the unacceptable conditions that far too many public housing residents in our city have been forced to endure. Delivering for our public housing residents is my highest priority on the federal level, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the City and State to deliver results for NYCHA tenants who are too often overlooked and left behind.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “In the Assembly Majority we have worked to make sure New Yorkers can find quality, affordable and accessible housing. Replacing elevators in these 20 developments will help improve the quality of life for these NYCHA residents. NYCHA is home to thousands of New Yorkers, many of whom are aging, and rely on elevators to maneuver their day to day. These necessary investments will assist in modernizing NYCHA developments across our great city.”

State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, said, “I thank the New York City Housing Authority and the State Dormitory Authority for moving forward to make these essential capital investments to replace 335 outdated and unreliable elevators with the State capital funding that we provided. I cannot overstate the importance of having reliable, working elevators in these buildings, especially in those with many residents who are seniors or have mobility impairments. These funds are part of the $1.1 billion in capital we have allocated for NYCHA in recent years. I have advocated for much larger sums and will continue to do so in the upcoming State budget process, but I am glad to see this allocation being put to good use, for improvements that will result in safer and more desirable living conditions for nearly 34,000 NYCHA residents.”

State Senator Roxanne Persaud said, “I’m proud to have fought for the $300 million in State capital funding that will support critical upgrades to elevators at NYCHA properties across New York City. Of the 335 elevators being replaced, 72 will be at three properties currently in Senate District 19; 32 elevators at Nostrand Houses, 36 at Sheepshead Bay and four at Woodson Houses. I applaud NYCHA and DASNY for reaching an agreement on this significant project and I am pleased that improvements are being made.”

State Senator John Liu said, “It is welcome news that NYCHA’s Leavitt Street community will finally begin to see some measure of reprieve for its beleaguered elevators. Working elevators are a necessity for New York City housing, especially for our senior citizens and people with disabilities. While long overdue, these repairs are an appropriate first step to correcting years of subpar living conditions.”

State Senator Jamaal Bailey said, “For decades, NYCHA residents have struggled with unreliable elevator service, heat and water issues, delayed repairs, and crumbling infrastructure. This infusion of State and local funding is a step in the right direction towards delivering meaningful relief for residents, particularly seniors, people with disabilities, and residents with limited mobility. These critical infrastructure improvements and repairs will address the immediate health and safety needs of our NYCHA communities and ensure residents finally have the safe, accessible, and dignified living conditions they deserve. I want to thank NYCHA tenant leaders across New York City, particularly Gun Hill Tenant Association President Robert Hall for their work and continued advocacy. Thank you Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams, NYCHA Chair Greg Russ, Interim NYCHA CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt, and my colleagues in the legislature for prioritizing this funding in the State budget to invest in and revitalize public housing across the city.”

State Senator Zellnor Myrie said, “Elevators are critical infrastructure: for seniors, residents with mobility needs, families with strollers, and people simply coming home from a long day of work. They’re a lifeline in our vertical City, but too often NYCHA residents have to contend with frequent, long elevator outages. And sometimes as soon as they’re fixed, they break down again. I’m proud to have delivered funding for these upgrades in the State budget and am grateful to NYCHA and DASNY for making this meaningful investment. I look forward to making sure these upgrades result in a better quality of life for my constituents.”

State Senator Julia Salazar said, “Our neighbors in Marcy Houses deserve high quality, safe living conditions and full accessibility. This robust investment in bringing new elevators to Marcy demonstrates a commitment to the development’s residents, especially seniors and residents who need fully functional and reliable elevators in their buildings.”

State Senator Cordell Cleare said, “I am pleased that the money that we fought so hard to allocate to NYCHA in the State Budget is finally flowing to worthy projects such as Elevator Upgrades at Taft Houses. I urge the Authority to maximize every cent by investing in much-needed initiatives that residents need and deserve throughout the 30thSenatorial District. Lastly, I hope this example will inspire continued reoccurring State support for NYCHA in the upcoming FY 2023-24 Budget.” 

Assemblymember and Chair of the State Assembly Ways and Means Committee Helene Weinstein said, “These elevator upgrades, made possible through State funding which I helped secure, are a welcome step in the right direction. For far too long, elderly and mobility challenged constituents living in NYCHA’s Sheepshead and Nostrand Apartments have been practically held hostage by repeated outages of an antiquated elevator system. Along with the security cameras I was able to secure some years ago, we will continue to transform NYCHA into a safe and accessible home for families and the disabled.” 

Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman said, “With the DASNY agreement, it will provide essential assistance for elevator upgrades which many developments need renovated for an extended period. I have been in the elevators at Conlon Lihfeand they are dark and operate slowly. So, I look forward to seeing the upgrades for my seniors, which have been long overdue.”

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon said, “I’m so glad that hundreds of NYCHA elevators will be replaced with funds provided by those of us in the State legislature. I am particularly pleased that the desperately needed replacement elevators at Gowanus Houses will be installed. These upgrades will bring safety and reliability to elevator service and can’t happen quickly enough. I’m thankful to my colleagues, the Tenant Association, Governor Hochul, DASNY and NYCHA for working together on this critical initiative.”

Assemblymember Latrice Walker said, “I grew up in a NYCHA property in Brownsville, Brooklyn – a neighborhood that has the highest concentration of public housing in the State. So, I understand how urgently NYCHA residents need this infusion of funding to replace outdated elevators. This is critically important for seniors and for residents who can’t take the stairs because they are mobility impaired. The $300 million funding agreement between NYCHA and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York is a welcome investment for residents at the 20 developments where the need is greatest.”

Assemblymember Harvey Epstein said, “I am thrilled to hear that Straus Houses will have four elevators replaced with the assistance of State capital funding. Almost every day my team and I hear from constituents about elevator outages and issues that keep many, especially seniors, waiting in their lobbies for elevators to get fixed. NYCHA needs money in order to make the proper repairs for elevator upgrades, and I am glad that this development will be receiving it.”

Assemblymember Charles Fall said, “I am pleased to see that the state funding we secured for upgrades to our NYCHA housing units is set to be implemented. These upgrades, especially to the elevators are essential components to increasing the quality-of-life standards for all NYCHA residents, especially to our senior and disabled tenants. I look forward to continue working with my state colleagues, NYCHA and DASNY on additional upgrades needed for our NYCHA residents on the North Shore of Staten Island.”

Assemblymember Stefani Zinerman said, “The New York State Legislature is dedicated to providing safe and affordable housing for all New Yorkers. Our investment of $300 million to upgrade elevators in Marcy Houses is critical to the lives of residents, especially for our elders, families with young children and the disabled. The New York State Assembly will continue working with City, State, and Federal legislators to support the infrastructure needs of NYCHA.”

Assemblymember Edward Gibbs said, “As the Assemblymember that represents the highest concentration of public housing developments in the country, I am elated that we in the State Legislature are showing our commitment to improving NYCHA. Elevators are crucial to ensuring the quality of life in our NYCHA developments, especially for those who are mobility impaired. I thank Governor Hochul, NYCHA and my colleagues for partnering in securing this funding.”

Former State Senator Diane Savino said, “We are very excited about this development and commitment on the part of the State and DASNY to provide long overdue and needed capital funds for the NYCHA complexes in our district. Elevator repairs and replacement are crucial to improving the quality of life of so many people who reside in public housing.”

Former Assemblymember and Chair of the New York State Assembly Housing Committee Steven Cymbrowitz said, “These elevator upgrades are urgently needed and represent a meaningful investment in NYCHA housing stock that will benefit residents for many years to come. I was pleased to work with my colleagues to make this critical funding available for these projects, and I look forward to continuing to work with NYCHA leadership to enhance the well-being of the over 400,000 public housing residents who call NYCHA developments home.”

Danny Barber, Chair, Citywide Council of Presidents, said, “I am pleased to hear that these much-needed elevator replacements are being brought to NYCHA developments across the city. I am confident that, once completed, these improvements will bring major relief to public housing residents.”