NYCHA’s Apartment Mold Scandal

NYCHA (The New York City housing Authority), provides safe, affordable housing to over 400,000 low to moderate income New York City residents.  Recently, a suit was brought against the agency by a civic group, The Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, and the Natural Resource Defense Council.  Together, these two entities alleged NYCHA was in violation of the America Disabilities Act by not properly removing mold from apartments after tenants with asthma filed complaints.  Previous protocol involved simply painting over the mold, which often leads to mold regrowth a few weeks or months down the line.  Now mold problems will be addressed with more permanent solutions like fixing the source of the water, i.e. leaking pipes or air conditioning units.  For the first time ever, NYCHA agreed in court, to address mold related problems within 15 days, setting a precedent for future tenant rights in New York City. In addition to fixing the source of the mold problem, NYCHA will also have to provide detailed documentation of each compliant and resulting remediation.  If NYCHA doesn’t comply tenants can ask the federal court overseeing the case to impose financial penalties.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley is overseeing the case and can monitor compliance for up to 3 years.  Most expect the agreement to go into effect sometime early this year.

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