Cuomo plans greater state oversight of embattled NYCHA | Global News Today
Cuomo plans greater state oversight of embattled NYCHA.
In a slap at Mayor de Blasio, Gov. Cuomo plans to increase state enforcement of housing developments following the lead paint inspection fiasco at the New York City Housing Authority.
“The New York City Housing Authority recently revealed its failure to abate lead paint and notify tenants of the danger. We know that lead paint can do permanent damage and is a toxic hazard that we believed had been eliminated 30 years ago,” Cuomo’s said in his 2018 State of the State Message.
Cuomo said it’s time to “develop a system to insure all housing authorities and all private landlords statewide make sure our children are safe from this hazard.”
Cuomo’s $168 billion plan released Tuesday includes proposals that would requires local code enforcement officers to conduct periodic inspections for lead paint and includes “anti-retaliation” protections for tenants who report suspected violations.
It would also allow officials at the state health and housing agencies to do their own lead paint inspections.
All buildings built before 1978 would be considered “lead-based” and require maintenance to avoid chipping or “deterioration” of toxic paint. The Department of State would also issue new regulations covering lead paint inspections and abatement programs.
The beefed-up state role comes after NYCHA admitted that for a number of years it failed to conduct annual inspections at 55,000 apartments, including those with young children who can suffer brain damage for eating lead paint chips.
A federal class action suit has accused NYCHA of obtaining federal and local waivers for thousands of apartments that were wrongly declared safe after they were inspected by un-certified workers. The plaintiffs include NYCHA tenants whose kids tested positive for lead poisoning.
NYCHA has said it is now doing routine inspections for lead paint.
De Blasio’s office had no immediate comment.
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