This winter has been exceptionally cold in many parts of the United States. The New York area has already seen several Arctic blasts. This winter’s cold weather is taking its toll on the old heating systems that exist in many of the buildings owned by the New York City Housing Authority. Heating units have been breaking down right and left, and residents are spending nights struggling to stay warm.
In order to alleviate some of the heating problems, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio authorized $13 million dollars in emergency funding. This funding was designed to provide repairs as soon as possible and get people through the winter. However, this is not a long-term solution for many buildings.
In order to provide a permanent solution, the mayor wants to spend $82 million to replace some of the worn out heating units. This money would fund 39 new boilers that would heat 104 New York Housing Authority buildings.
In addition to this funding, an additional $74 million in funding is proposed in order to upgrade the heating in 12 housing developments. These buildings do not need repairs, but they do need work to bring them up to best efficiency.
The repairs and replacements are scheduled to be completed in 2022. Although public housing advocates are pleased that action is being taken to alleviate tenant’s heating needs, they are not pleased with the mayor’s proposed timeline. In the opinion of many who follow the issue, four years is too long for tenants to have to worry about whether or not they will stay warm in the winter.
In defense of the mayor’s position, it has been noted that in order for the new heating boilers to be installed, a process needs to be completed. The heaters need to first be designed. Once an acceptable design is in place, the boilers must be manufactured to specifications. Then, the old units must be removed, and the new units will be installed.
This is an ambitious project that will affect city residents in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Approximately 45,000 city residents will receive either new or upgraded heating under the mayor’s proposal.