City Hall is not sure how much lead paint is actually in apartments throughout the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

It's pledging to find out by September 2020.

The housing authority board selected seven contractors Wednesday to conduct lead-based paint inspections on 135,000 apartments. The contract will cost $88 million.

This means the city for the first time will know exactly which NYCHA apartments have lead paint.

To meet its goal, contractors will have to inspect 7,500 apartments a month.

"It is clearly possible for us to meet that number," said Kathryn Garcia, the acting chair of the housing authority.

It's a lofty goal, and not the only one NYCHA is facing.

The authority's acting chairwoman and its general manager spent 20 minutes Wednesday morning taking reporter questions in a conference room at NYCHA's headquarters. The Q-and-A session comes as the agency faces its most intense scrutiny yet. The acting chairwoman of NYCHA told NY1 that the new federal monitor, who is the major element of a settlement agreement between the federal government and the city, was planning to start work that day.

"That is what he conveyed to us, that he wanted to get started that day," Garcia said about the monitor, Bart Schwartz, who will have offices in NYCHA's headquarters.

Already under this agreement, NYCHA has been scrambling to meet specific deadlines. It was supposed to fix lead paint hazards in 5,800 apartments with children under the age of six in just 30 days.

"As of yesterday," NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo said. "there were 200 that we still were either, again, going out to address the deficiency or another attempt at access."

NY1 has repeatedly asked to see that work, but our requests have been denied.

Another deadline: By next week, the city, the federal government, and federal prosecutors must also come up with a list of possible permanent leaders for the authority. Garcia and Mustaciuolo said, to the best of their knowledge, they were not on that list.

We are told the list of potential candidates must be complete by Monday.


Looking for an easy way to learn about the issues affecting New York City?

Listen to our "Off Topic/On Politics" podcast: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | iHeartRadio | Stitcher | RSS