March 12, 2018

Assembly Passes Legislation To Expedite Critical NYCHA Repairs

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced the Assembly has passed legislation that would enable the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to use an alternative procurement process in order to streamline renovations and rehabilitations, including the replacement of outdated boilers and heating systems. The bill would also require greater transparency regarding NYCHA's policies and procedures relating to lead-based paint poisoning prevention.

The New York City Housing Authority's mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA's 326 public housing developments across the City's five boroughs.

"Many NYCHA developments are aging and in need of maintenance and modernization," said Speaker Heastie. "This much needed legislation will allow NYCHA to speed up the procurement process, and in turn, make repairs more efficiently to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers that reside in NYCHA apartments are living in safe and healthy homes."

"NYCHA's outdated boilers and heating systems have led to unacceptable heating disruptions during some of the coldest days of the year," said Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz, chair of the Housing Committee. "Expediting the procurement process for NYCHA capital projects will help improve the quality of life for many thousands of families and individuals living in NYCHA apartments."

Under the proposal, NYCHA would be authorized to use an alternative "design-build" procurement process (A.10053, Heastie). Design-build is a method of project delivery in which a single contract provides both design and construction services. This method minimizes project risk for the owner, increases the accountability of contractors and accelerates the delivery schedule by eliminating one procurement cycle and compressing the design and construction procurements into one Project Labor Agreement. By overlapping the design and construction phase, critical NYCHA projects can be delivered in a timelier manner. Contracts would be subject to applicable federal, state and local requirements for disadvantaged business enterprises and minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

The legislation also calls for greater transparency regarding efforts to reduce and prevent lead-based paint poisoning in children. Under the bill, the chair of NYCHA would be required to provide written reports on the implementation of laws concerning lead-based paint inspections and remediation that NYCHA must adhere to. The legislation will allow residents of NYCHA and various government agencies to gauge compliance.