NYCHA’s repair backlog exceeds 11,000 in NYC Castle Hill Houses

Nowhere is the wait for repairs in the city’s public housing more desperate than at the Castle Hill houses in the Bronx – the number of open work orders for residents has risen to more than 11,000 in recent months.

The backlog of repair requests on the extensive four-block NYCHA development has grown by more than 26 percent over the past year, as NYCHA failed to keep up with deteriorating conditions in the complex’s 2,000 apartments.

It is the largest backlog for a single development across the entire public housing system in the Big Apple, which has more than 280 complexes, according to data reviewed by The Post.

The findings did not shock 20-year-old Henry Sanchez, who lives on the 19th floor of one of the complex’s 20-storey towers with his disabled mother.

“When the elevator breaks down, we have to go up 19 stairs. My mother’s life is in danger, ”a clearly frustrated Sanchez told a Post reporter on Friday.

The frustration also extends into their unit, where paint is never properly repaired, and Sanchez said he has been given an endless list of excuses as to how his kitchen drawer remains unfixed after three years of complaints.

“We moved here three years ago, and the kitchen drawer always had problems opening and closing. The drawer has now officially broken and they have not come to repair it, ”he added.

Tenant Carlos Castillo has said he does not have hot water most of the time.
Thomas E. Gaston
Man pointing to washbasin fixture in bathroom.
In May 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio invested only $ 24 million of the $ 5.9 billion in federal COVID assistance to NYCHA.
Thomas E. Gaston

“The excuses are that they do not have enough people to come and repair it or because of COVID.”

Castle Hill is not alone, as the agency’s maintenance backlog has grown across the city, reaching nearly 584,000 repair and maintenance requests in October. That is more than a quarter more than the work orders that opened 461,000 in October 2020.

It has pushed the average time it takes the agency to complete a repair to a staggering nine months in October, which is a dramatic deterioration from the sad six-month average reported at the same time last year.

Silvia Santos, 89, said she can not even get NYCHA to come by and replace the shower bar in the bathroom of her Castle Hill Houses apartment – and that when repair staff show up, they often leave the work unfinished.

“Sometimes they came, started fixing something and said they would come back – but they never come back,” she said.

Woman standing with curtain rod.
Tenant Silvia Santos, 69, has lived in the Castle Hill Avenue building, where maintenance has neglected to repair old or damaged parts around her apartment.
Thomas E. Gaston

Scandalous living conditions are nothing new at NYCHA, which has been under partial control of a federal monitor since 2019 after decades of mismanagement exploded to the public thanks to a series of scandals about fake inspections, lead poisoning and mold attacks.

City Hall estimates it will take at least $ 40 billion – or more than $ 180,000 per year. unit – to bring all NYCHA’s developments back to good condition.

NYCHA said it has rolled out a pilot program at select developments – but not Castle Hill – to speed up repairs.

It said it plans to eventually expand the program to the Bronx within the next six months.

The agency declined to comment specifically on the backlog on Castle Hill.


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