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City speeds up heat repairs after NYCHA state of emergency threat

In the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing he would declare a state of emergency over NYCHA conditions, the city announced it is fast tracking the heating repairs in its developments.
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that he would declare a state of emergency for NYCHA. Photo: Getty Images

The city is fast-tracking upgrades to heating systems in New York City Housing Authority developments, officials announced on Thursday — a move that came after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would declare a state of emergency over NYCHA conditions.

In January, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $200 million investment to replace boilers and upgrade heating systems in 20 NYCHA developments which were experiencing “chronic outages.” The upgrades would be rolled out over three years.

Speaking on NY1 on Wednesday, Cuomo said he would implement “a real resolution” to cut that timeline.

“We’re going to do an emergency declaration,” he said. “We’re going to get this done in a very creative way and God forbid we don’t need the federal government to come in here and tell us how to run our housing.”

Cuomo added that NYCHA is “in a crisis” and he stands with the residents demanding improvements.

Following that interview, the de Blasio administration announced it would speed up the heating system repairs. The city identified several ways fast-track the process, according to a statement, which will save 12 to 15 months of work.

“Our investment in new heating systems goes right to the heart of the biggest problems NYCHA residents face,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We are cutting through red tape to expedite these critically needed repairs for tenants, and urge our state partners to do the same by authorizing design-build immediately.”

To speed things up, the city will review fewer design submissions and aims to award contracts ahead of NYCHA board approval.

“This interagency partnership is about looking at how we can all work smarter and more collaboratively in support of New York City residents,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye in a statement. “With the Mayor’s investment and commitments from our city agency partners, we are able to bring better quality heat service to 45,000 New Yorkers much faster.”