Public Advocate Letitia James has placed the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) at the very top of her list of worst landlords in the city. According to a New York Daily News report, this is one of James’s final acts before she takes on the role of the state’s next attorney general. In a letter sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio, James said her analysis of the growing backlog of open repair requests across thousands of public housing apartments merits putting NYCHA on the notorious list. This also follows numerous complaints about lead poisoning and a myriad of other maintenance related issues at the dilapidated apartment buildings.
James said by putting NYCHA at the top of this list, she wishes to make clear what New Yorkers have known for years – that the conditions of NYCHA buildings, also known as the projects – are among the worst in the city and that the response from management has been inadequate. As of October, there were more than 240,000 open repair requests pending at NYCHA buildings, a number that went up from 148,000 the year before.
This is the first time James’s “Landlord Watchlist” has included public housing along with a tally of the worst private landlords. Usually, each year, James evaluates privately-owned or privately operated buildings using the number of open citations filed by housing inspectors against landlords to determine whether an owner deserves to be placed on the list.
Only landlords with a substantial number of violations make it to the list of worst landlords. This year, not only did the NYCHA make the offenders list, but it also led the pack with the most number of violations. For NYCHA buildings James said she relied on open work orders because the department that issues violations doesn’t track citations given to public housing buildings.
The Daily News also reports that James toured two NYCHA apartments in Harlem including one where the paint is flaking and peeling throughout. She also spoke with tenants who said their apartments are plagued by water leaks that have left closets crawling with mold. Tenants said their repeated pleas for repairs have gone unanswered.
Decades of Negligence
NYCHA is the largest public housing in the nation and houses more than 400,000 tenants in about 325 developments. Clearly, these homes are in poor condition and are in immediate need of repair. A recent federal investigation as reported revealed that NYCHA concealed residents’ exposure to lead and its failure to safeguard them from the hazards of living in these old dilapidated buildings.
More than 1,000 children living in “the projects” have tested positive for lead poisoning and many more cases are expected. Horrible conditions in these housing units have put tens of thousands of children in danger because children are most vulnerable to the adverse effects of lead poisoning. Research shows that even low levels of lead may cause developmental issues such as learning disabilities, poor attention span, impulsiveness, and lower IQ.
If you live in a NYCHA apartment under these dangerous conditions or if you suspect that your child has suffered from lead poisoning, it is important that you take your child to a doctor right away. You should seek the medical attention even if your child is not displaying any immediate symptoms. Take photographs and/or video of poor conditions in your apartment such as chipping or peeling paint, rusted pipes, wet walls and other conditions that have not been repaired.
Filing a Lead Poisoning Lawsuit
A parent or family living in the projects or public housing with a child who has been diagnosed with high blood lead levels may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the NYCHA. Victims may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, cost of diagnostic tests, loss of earnings, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. An experienced 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.
If your child has been affected by lead poisoning, 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.
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.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
If you found this article useful, please share it!