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Bedbugs, Roaches Infest Thousands Of NYCHA Homes – New York City, NY Patch


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NEW YORK CITY Roaches and bedbugs were caught crawling through city public housing almost 60,000 times last year, attorneys announced Monday.

NYCHA residents filed about 59,770 bug infestation complaints in the first nine months of 2019, according to the Legal Aid Society.

Judith Goldiner, Attorney-In-Charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit, called the findings troubling but added NYCHA's quick response time was encouraging.

"This is a clear byproduct of more staff on the ground and resources," said Goldiner, even though, "The high number of work orders filed by NYCHA residents to remediate insect infestation within their homes is indeed troubling."

The Grant Houses in Harlem logged the most work orders with 981 roach and bedbug infestations reported, according to documents acquired through Legal Aid's Freedom Of Information Law request.

It took the Housing Authority roughly 9.5 days on average to respond to those complaints, the records show.

The Pomonok Houses in Fresh Meadows, Queens, had the most bedbug complaints with 116 work orders, which took the Housing Authority roughly 9 days to remediate, Legal Aid said.

Bedbug and roach responses have improved since the city's $2.2 billion agreement (with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) to address lead paint, mold, heating and pests took effect in July 2019, said NYCHA press secretary Rochel Leah Goldblatt.

Under the new Integrated Pest Management system, roach responses have become more thorough and bedbugs and rats are treated like emergencies, taking higher priority on the work order list, added Goldblatt.

"NYCHA is working closely with the Federal Monitor on Integrated Pest Management techniques and a Pest Action Plan," said Goldblatt. "NYCHA lacked the resources to adequately address many issues in its aging housing portfolio, including pests, due to years of federal disinvestment."

The public defenders group echoed these sentiments and called on state legislators to continue to increase funding for NYCHA in 2020.

"Public housing is critical to so many New Yorkers," Goldiner concluded. "We must ensure that residents live safely and with dignity."

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Bedbugs, Roaches Infest Thousands Of NYCHA Homes - New York City, NY Patch

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