NYCHA lands at top of Worst Landlords Watchlist

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New York's next attorney general Letitia James has placed NYCHA at the top of her annual Worst Landlords Watchlist.

James says more than 400,000 people live in NYCHA complexes spread over 177,000 apartments. She says years of neglect and the failure to address lead paint concerns and heating problems is what landed NYCHA at the top of this year's list.

The public advocate says NYCHA reported more than 240,000 open work orders just this year, compared to 148,000 last year.

In the Bronx, the Mill Brook Houses were ranked the worst in the borough followed by Sedgwick Houses, Highbridge Gardens and Webster. All of those buildings fall within the top 10 worst NYCHA buildings across the city.

According to NYCHA's physical needs assessment, NYCHA will need to spend about $148,000 in the next year per apartment in buildings around the city to make the necessary repairs.

People who live at the Mill Brook Houses say they are not surprised to hear that where they live landed high on the list.

In a statement James said, "The Worst Landlords Watchlist has been an invaluable tool to hold bad landlords accountable and improve living conditions for countless New Yorkers. But for too long, the most glaring example of this ill treatment has been at the hands of the city itself. And this year, we are finally putting NYCHA on notice. New Yorkers deserve better and it is long past time that NYCHA clean up its act."

NYCHA responded saying, "The problems at NYCHA, brought on by decades of disinvestment and mismanagement, are clear, as is the need for all government partners to help fix and preserve public housing. As James notes in her letter, NYCHA 2.0 charts a course to address 75 percent of NYCHA's unmet capital needs. We share her hope that the city can forge a productive partnership with Department of Housing and Urban Development as we continue rebuilding NYCHA for its half-million residents."

Privately owned buildings are also ranked based on open violations.

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