Capital New York:
As Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration embarks on an ambitious plan to expand the stock of affordable housing for New Yorkers, he faces another daunting task: Ensuring those homes are safe, comfortable places to live.
A report released Monday morning by Comptroller Scott Stringer finds that the city’s affordable housing stock—both rent-regulated and public—is in a state of disrepair.
New York has come a long way in the 125 years since Jacob Riis wrote How the Other Half Lives, the report notes. But in some areas, the gains of the last century are slipping away.
The 27-page report finds a wide gap between the conditions of market-rate housing and the rest of the city’s apartment stock, noting disparities along income and racial lines. There are noteworthy differences in the conditions of stabilized housing and market-rate.
In 2011, for example, 20 percent of rent-stabilized apartments had heating equipment breakdowns, while broken plaster and peeling paint was noted at 24 percent—twice that of market-rate units. One out of three rent-stabilized units had rodent problems in 2011, compared to one in five market-rate units.
“While much of New York City’s housing stock remains in good condition and asset values have increased, significant pockets of our city’s housing are deteriorating,” Stringer said in a statement. “We still have much work to do to ensure that every New Yorker has a safe place to call home.”
Much of the city’s public housing is in a state of disrepair, Stringer’s report finds, noting problems have became far more widespread in the last decade.