Call centers to hold NYCHA accountable for mold complaints

Posted: Updated:

NYCHA buildings plagued by persistent mold will now be held accountable through the 'Ombudsperson Call Center.'

The OCC was created through a lawsuit brought forward by public housing tenants and others who belong to Metro IAF organization. It operates independently from NYCHA and is dedicated specifically to mold complaints. The OCC can hold NYCHA accountable for fixing these issues.

Councilmember Ritchie Torres says that by July of 2020 the call center will be available for all public houses across the five boroughs. He says he is working with the city to pass a new law that would require NYCHA tenants to know about the service.

"If NYCHA fails to follow up and follow through, then the Ombudsperson will have the legal authority to order repairs. The authority of a federal court behind it," said Torres.

In the NYCHA buildings where the call centers have taken effect, the majority of mold complaints have been resolved, according to Torres.

Morris House tenant Bernard Smith says persistent mold is nothing new to him. "Some people just gave up. They just shrugged their shoulders. It is what it is, you know?" said Smith. He says he will be letting his neighbors know about the call center as soon as he can.

News 12 reached out to NYCHA for comment on the call center and has not heard back yet.

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