New Census Bureau report details poor conditions in New York’s Public Housing
28 September 2018
Every three years, the US Census Bureau conducts a New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey, which analyzes key statistics and conditions of New York City’s housing stock. The latest report was released last month.
One of the more significant findings of the report is that while overall housing conditions have improved in the city, physical conditions in public housing for roughly 500,000 residents have continuously remained poor and, by some measurements, have gotten worse.
Most notable among the physical deficiencies tracked is the rise in the number of heating system breakdowns which were experienced by 28 percent of residents who live in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) properties, compared to 24 percent in the previous survey.
During the height of one winter storm early this year, the central heating systems failed at several large complexes leaving thousands to cope the best they could in single-digit temperatures. The number of water leaks reported also increased since the previous report.
A public advocacy group, the Citizens Budget Commission (CBC), which attempts to influence the allocation of city resources, published a summary of the Census Bureau’s survey which shows that the NYCHA has been unable to affect the repairs needed to adequately meet the needs of residents.
“The growing gap in building quality between NYCHA and other rental housing units should deepen the urgency of efforts to improve conditions,” wrote the commission’s Senior Research Associate, Sean Campion. He concluded that if unchecked, worsening conditions will reach the point where it is no longer cost-effective to make repairs.
Since 2001, the federal government…