The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (The Projects) is the city’s biggest landlord. Since last year, the agency has been dealing with a scandal involving lead paint contamination that was making young children sick in its public housing projects, dangerous conditions on various properties including the Bronx River Houses, Manhattan’s Harlem River Houses and the Williamsburg Houses in Brooklyn as well as funding problems. According to a report in The Real Deal, after Mayor Bill de Blasio and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson signed a deal in January settling a federal lawsuit over mismanagement of NYCHA (The Projects) apartments, the agency is in for a major management shakeup.
The agreement between NYCHA and the federal government calls for a federal monitor to oversee the agency and requires the city to make an additional $2 billion investment over the next five years to repair and upgrade the 325 housing complexes operated by NYCHA. The agreement also includes a change in leadership. In February, de Blasio chose the city’s sanitation commissioner to temporarily run the troubled system, which houses nearly 600,000 New Yorkers in more than 2,418 buildings. The agency is now grappling with the issue of raising sufficient money to make the repairs and upgrades while searching for a new chief.
What We Know About the Crisis
NYCHA and whoever is picked to lead the agency have an uphill task ahead. The agency needs about $32 billion for repairs and renovations over the next five years. In December, de Blasio launched a $24 billion plan to help cover the costs including the sale of $3 billion in air rights and deals with private developers to manage a third of the agency’s apartments, a move that is expected to bring in about $13 billion.
It will cost NYCHA $88 million just to inspect and test the135,000 apartments for lead paint as required by the agreement. The inspections will continue through the end of 2020. Lead poisoning can cause serious health effects in young children including permanent brain damage, learning disabilities and behavioral issues. In addition to lead paint issues, NYCHA apartment dwellers are dealing with dangerous conditions – from broken pipes and malfunctioning elevators to busted walls. So far, the agency has recorded 73 injuries in its elevators since 2013 including three fatalities.
While most city elevators are maintained by the Department of Buildings, NYCHA is responsible for conducting inspections, testing and the maintenance of its 3,237 elevators. There have recently been cases where tenants suffered injuries in slip-and-fall incidents after pipe leaks in NYCHA apartments. Hundreds also reported going without heat and hot water during the winter.
Understanding Your Rights
Whether you live in privately owned buildings or the Projects, as a tenant, you have the right to a safe and healthy environment. If you live in public or private housing, and your child has been diagnosed with high blood lead levels, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the NYCHA (the Projects) or private landlords for damages.
You may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, cost of diagnostic tests, permanent injuries, lost income and benefits, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. A knowledgeable New York City lead poisoning lawyer will be able to help you file the lawsuit and compile the evidence that is required to hold the agency accountable for its negligence (carelessness).
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If your child has been affected by lead poisoning or if you have been injured by dilapidated or dangerous conditions in your home, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our firm recovered $1,162,500 for a child who suffered lead poisoning from paint in her apartment. The child’s injuries were subtle and difficult to recognize. We recovered $162,500 above the $1 million dollar total insurance policy in this case. Despite the judge’s efforts to settle the case for $950,000, we fought hard and recovered $162,500 more than the insurance full policy of one million dollars. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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