Eighty-one percent of residents living in five public housing complexes across the Rockaway peninsula are in desperate need of immediate repairs to their apartments. That’s according to a new study by the Regional Plan Association — conducted with Community Voices Heard — a grassroots group fighting for housing justice. Their analysis found more than half of the 700 plus people surveyed need bathroom repairs and 45 percent need kitchen repairs.
What You Need To Know:
- Eighty one percent of residents living in five public housing complexes across the Rockaway peninsula are in desperate need of immediate repairs to their apartments.
- More than half of the 700-plus people surveyed need bathroom repairs and 45 percent need kitchen repairs.
- One third of those surveyed say their living conditions are directly affecting their mental health — intensifying problems like stress and depression.
- A quarter of respondents say issues like mold affect their physical health — triggering ailments like asthma, and chronic fatigue.
“People are living in really deplorable conditions. It’s really bad. The things that I saw, it’s just ridiculous,” said Vernell Robinson, a board member with Community Voices Heard.
Robinson is also a resident at Carlton Manor in Arverne. She says after years of hearing complaints about the living conditions at tenant meetings, she proposed conducting a survey to determine what residents are living with.
“There are a lot of people, a lot of seniors living in these apartments. And their mental health is being affected,” said Robinson.
One third of those surveyed say their living conditions directly affecting their mental health — intensifying problems like stress and depression. A quarter say issues like mold affect their physical health — triggering ailments like asthma, and chronic fatigue. The study was completed just before the coronavirus crisis. But residents say the pandemic making living here even more challenging.
“Because we are in our homes. And we don’t need to be living like this,” said Denice McBride, a resident of the Oceanside Houses.
The surveys were conducted in person by 10 women who live in NYCHA housing. Margareth Massack says she was most surprised by how conditions could differ from building to building.
“I found out it depended on who was working in the apartment building whether if things were going to get done,” said Massack, a resident of the Oceanside Houses.
The Regional Plan Association analyzed all of the data collected and compiled the report. RPA officials say tenants are doing what they can to make conditions livable.
“We’re really hoping the landlord, which is NYCHA, and to be clear it’s not just NYCHA the institution, it’s really all levels of government — city government, state government and federal government that need to hold up their end of the bargain also,” said Moses Gates, the Vice President of Housing & Neighborhood Planning for RPA.
“We appreciate the Regional Plan Association’s diligent research into the housing quality for NYCHA residents. This survey was conducted in 2018, prior to the January 2019 Agreement and NYCHA’s ongoing extensive work and action plans already underway with the federal monitor, which address many of the issues the RPA has identified. We look forward to reviewing specific resident feedback and the survey results more thoroughly and working with the RPA on any additional or specific future concerns," a NYCHA spokeswoman said in response.