ASTORIA – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris announced that cooking gas service at Astoria Houses’ 1-04 Astoria Boulevard building was finally restored this morning. This comes after a nearly 3 month outage that impacted residents, including during the Thanksgiving holiday. The agency had only provided those residents with a hot plate and no timeline for repairs.
“While I am pleased these residents now have service restored, this whole episode represents an unacceptable failure from NYCHA. Rent-paying tenants deserve better. That’s why I will keeping fighting to hold NYCHA accountable,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “Thanks go out to the residents, their association leadership, and countless activists for their tireless attention to this issue. We will continue working together to stand up for NYCHA tenants.”
In response to this outage, Senator Gianaris introduced the NYCHA Utility Accountability Act would reduce a tenant’s rent obligation in an amount prorated per day of utility outage by the greater of 10% of the tenant’s actual rent or $75 per month. Affected utilities include gas, heat, water, and electric service. In addition to providing relief for impacted tenants, this legislation would provide a financial incentive to fix service more quickly.
Astoria Houses residents are not alone in being without gas service. According to NYCHA’s own service portal, outages exist at properties across New York City dating back to November 2019. Residents in 1-04 Astoria Boulevard were provided with hot plates for cooking by the beleaguered housing agency, which are an insufficient replacement for gas stoves.
Senator Gianaris has been a longtime advocate of improving quality of life for NYCHA tenants. He has secured major funding for a job training program for NYCHA residents through a partnership with LaGuardia Community College and Urban Upbound. When NYCHA failed to successfully test for lead in Queensbridge Houses, Senator Gianaris went in and performed tests himself and pushed for faster lead testing in these developments.