BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
City Comptroller Scott Stringer released an audit this week showing that the New York Housing Authority (NYCHA) paid $1.8 million for poorly constructed roof installations at Pomonok Houses North in Fresh Meadows.
The reports show defective work, such as poor water-drainage and insufficient flashing, resulting in conditions that could not only lead to leaks, but shorten the lives of the new roofs and lead to health and safety concerns for its residents.
In addition to the faulty work, the project took 23 to 60 days longer than expected.
“It’s unbelievable,” Stringer said. “We’re talking about what are supposed to be new roofs, but we found work that wasn’t up to industry standards. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers depend on NYCHA to competently fix its buildings. NYCHA needs to be more diligent to ensure that work is done properly. These are opportunities missed and dollars wasted. The agency must get its house in order, because as it faces massive shortfalls in funding, NYCHA must do its repair work well.
Residents—and all New Yorkers—deserve and expect better. Enough is enough.”
According to the audit, base flashing installations at Pomonok Houses North Buildings 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 did not comply with industry standards and ran contrary to contract requirements. However, NYCHA accepted those sub-standard installations which cost them $38,200 less than the standard installations, risking the original $1.8 million investment for the roof installations.
According to protocols, the roofs should have an eight-inch flashing height minimum, which is needed to prevent moisture infiltration caused by rain or snow buildup. However, the comptroller’s study showed that of the 16 buildings at Pomonok Houses North, five had roofs ranging from four-and-a-half to seven inches high.
In his audit, Stringer noted a pattern of NYCHA struggling to keep up with maintenance of some of the aging buildings it operates across the five boroughs. He also called for action to be taken to recover the cost between the standard base flashing installation and the substandard provided installations at Pomonok Houses North.
“We work every day to improve residents’ quality of life and operate more efficiently as part of our NextGeneration NYCHA plan, which is leading to real progress and results,” said a NYCHA spokeswoman. “Our new capital planning strategy includes strengthening construction project management, updating policies and procedures, training staff, improving communications with all stakeholders, and implementing new tools to deliver timely, quality projects.”
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.