Lead paint inspections scheduled to take place in hundreds of NYCHA apartments on the same day as the New York primary election had some suspecting voter suppression.
Per the letter, which NYCHA said was sent to approximately 650 apartments in one agency development, required that the resident or an adult over 18 would need to be home between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a visual assessment.
The letter stated that if no one was home, the agency would “exercise our right to enter to conduct this important and required health and safety visual inspection.”
Twitter user @SonofBaldwin shared a photo of the letter and several other tweets about the letter, with NYCHA tagged.
On #NYPrimary day, #NYCHA asked its residents, mostly people or color, to remain home from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for an apartment inspection. Is that suss to you or nah? #VoteNYC pic.twitter.com/sj0HW0ntXy
— Son of Baldwin (@SonofBaldwin) September 13, 2018
One responder said that “election day ought to be a holiday so government bureaucracy’s don’t even have a chance to “innocently” mess up like this” while another wrote, “This is what #votersuppression looks like.”
NYCHA: ‘We shouldn’t have scheduled appointments for Election Day’
In a tweet, NYCHA responded, “We regret this oversight and are going to reschedule any appts missed today.”
Thank you for bringing this to @NYCHA‘s attention. We regret this oversight and are going to reschedule any appts missed today. Please encourage all of your mom’s neighbors to vote today and have NYCHA residents’ voices be heard.
— NYCHA (@NYCHA) September 13, 2018
In a statement to Metro, NYCHA said, “We’re trying to inspect these apartments for lead paint as fast as possible. But we shouldn’t have scheduled appointments for Election Day.”
This year’s New York primary was switched to Thursday from its usual Tuesday due to the 17th anniversary of 9/11 and Rosh Hashanah this week.
The agency, which said that residents received the notices two weeks ago as well as a five-day reminder, confirmed it was rescheduling anyone who missed today’s inspections and “we encourage everyone to get out and vote before the polls close at 9 p.m.”
NYCHA, which is scheduled to complete nearly 50,000 assessments by the end of the year, said it will not schedule any inspections on Nov. 6, when the New York general election takes place.
The agency came under fire last fall when it came to light that required annual lead inspections had not been done in agency developments.