Following IDC ‘Break the Mold’ report, Senate passes Senator Savino’s bill to improve mold remediation at NYCHA apartments

Legislation mandates that licensed professionals perform mold remediation

Albany, NY — The New York State Senate on Tuesday passed legislation by Senator Diane Savino (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn) to include the New York City Housing Authority in current law that requires mold assessment, remediation and abatement be performed only by a licensed professional.

Under Senator Savino’s legislation, NYCHA would be held to the same standards as private entities when remediating mold from apartments.

“Today we passed critical legislation to force NYCHA to comply with state mold remediation standards. We must hold the city's largest landlord to the same standard as other property owners. The IDC has released four reports outlying the deplorable conditions, including mold. The fight for 400,000 residents across the city is not over,” said Senator Savino.

“Years ago, NYCHA rolled out a program called, ‘Mold Busters,” but we all know that’s not who you’re going to call if an apartment has mold. For too long, NYCHA residents suffered with toxic conditions like mold that could cause serious health problems and I’m proud that the Independent Democratic Conference is taking the lead in the Senate to fix this problem. Senator Savino’s legislation will require licensed professionals to perform real remediation work on mold to protect the well-being of tenants,” said Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).

“Lead remediation is a specialized and difficult task and it’s important that NYCHA mold remediation is conducted by a licensed professional. We know the life-threatening effects of mold and I applaud Senator Savino for her work on this matter. NYCHA residents deserve to live in hospitable and comfortable conditions, just like all rent-payers,” said Senator Marisol Alcántara (D-Manhattan).

“Like all New Yorkers, NYCHA residents deserve licensed professionals when facing mold problems. By advancing this measure today, we send a message that NYCHA needs to deliver quality mold assessment, abatement, and remediation. NYCHA residents should not have to accept substandard services. We must reaffirm our commitment to stand with residents to make NYCHA do far better and see this legislation through to where it matters most: delivering results in our communities,” said Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Brooklyn).

“NYCHA residents deserve better, much better. It was shocking to learn that six in every 10 NYCHA residents surveyed had mold problems in their apartments. Simply put, this is unacceptable. Lead-paint, boiler installation, falling roofs, mold. When are all these situations going to be stopped, resolved? I applaud Senator Savino’s efforts to deal with the mold problem by including NYCHA under a current law that requires mold assessment, remediation and abatement be done by a licensed expert. This is a great step in trying to put an end to mold damage and ensure residents have habitable conditions in their homes,” said Senator Jose Peralta (D-Queens).

Last week the Independent Democratic Conference released a scathing report, “Break the Mold: Cleaning Up NYCHA’s Mess,” that surveyed residents and investigated the lack of mold remediation in NYCHA apartments. The report found that 59% of those survey have found mold in the apartments and 56% reported it took more than two weeks to respond or that they never received a response from the authority.

As part of the IDC’s continuing scrutiny of NYCHA, the Senate also recently passed legislation to create an independent monitor of the authority and empowering the City Council with oversight power. This followed the release of the IDC’s “The New Flint” report in February comparing the lead crisis at NYCHA to the Flint, Michigan lead water crisis.

“Thank you to Senator Savino for holding NYCHA accountable. I've begged for help, and all NYCHA sent was paint brushes and bleach spray. Her advocacy for her constituents is unmatched,” said Scherisce Lewis Clinton, TA President, South Beach Houses.

Read “The New Flint”: https://www.nysenate.gov/sites/default/files/press-release/attachment/the_new_flint_-_full_report.pdf

Read “Break the Mold: Cleaning Up NYCHA’s Mess”: https://www.nysenate.gov/sites/default/files/press-release/attachment/break_the_mold_full_report.pdf