Statement on City Council Hearing Examining NYCHA’s Readiness for Winter

Judith Goldiner, Attorney-In-Charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society, issued the below statement regarding the New York City Council’s oversight hearing examining the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYHCA) readiness for winter:

“So far this heat season, thousands of NYCHA tenants at developments around the city have already suffered unplanned heat and hot water outages, reminiscent of last year’s nightmare. We fear for their well-being going into what could possibly be a very long and cold winter.

Early next month, The Legal Aid Society will argue in court for a preliminary injunction to order NYCHA to provide heat and hot water as the law requires. The law is clear, and we’re hopeful that the judge will quickly grant our motion.

As we’ve said many times before, for those who have been forced to suffer the lack of these basic and necessary services, NYCHA should issue abatements to tenants when heat and hot water systems fail. As per local and state law, the Authority violates its legal obligation to provide these utilities with every outage. The City understood this obligation after Hurricane Sandy when it issued abatements to residents at impacted developments, and this situation is no different.”