Advocate wants improved tenant safety across NYCHA

A community advocate is calling for improved tenant safety across the New York City Housing Authority following a Department of Investigation report that blamed NYCHA for the death of two children in a Butler Houses fire in April.

Activist Tony Herbert met with residents Wednesday in Claremont Village to demand that NYCHA management be held accountable for the actions of its employees.

The DOI's investigation revealed that a NYCHA worker was inside the Butler Houses apartment hours before the fire occurred and falsely reported to NYCHA that the smoke alarms were working.

Herbert is proposing the recommendations in the DOI's report be turned into law. He says workers are underpaid and overworked, and that is why they ignore critical safety issues like repairing a smoke detector.

The DOI's report says there are deficiencies in at least one critical safety item in 106 NYCHA complexes. In the Butler Houses alone, there were reported deficiencies in 70 of its 114 apartments.

NYCHA, in response to the report, says it took disciplinary actions against all employees who neglected proper safety checks.

Herbert says he will be touring all NYCHA units to speak with tenants about their concerns.

The mother of the two children killed in the Butler Houses fire was charged with negligent homicide for leaving them home alone.

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