Last week, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney joined the tenant leaders at Queensbridge and Astoria Houses to provide an end-of-year update on NYCHA’s Skilled Trades Pilot Program, which decentralizes the maintenance system and assigns workers to complete much-needed repairs at developments.
The pilot program began in October at Queensbridge, Astoria and Ravenswood houses, and is set to run through mid-January.
“After two months of this three-month pilot program, I am happy to report that 5,588 individual tasks have been completed across the pilot locations,” Maloney said, “with an 18 percent increase in overall productivity performance for maintenance and skilled trades.”
In addition to decentralizing the maintenance system out of its central office, which removes travel time between the office and the building, the pilot program places dedicated, full-time carpenters, painters and plasterers at each of the developments Monday through Friday.
Plumbers and electricians are assigned to work specific days at each complex.
Throughout the pilot program, Maloney said she’s spoken with residents via telephone town halls and in-person socially distanced meetings about their experiences with the program.
Claudia Coger, president of the Astoria Houses Residents Association, said the pilot program has been effective for her residents.
“Residents are getting old plumbing issues fixed and painting and plastering jobs are being completed,” she said. “The NYCHA Skilled Trades Pilot Program is a plus in our community.”
April Simpson, president emeritus of the Queensbridge Houses Residents Association, called the pilot program a “step in the right direction” for getting repairs for tenants.
“This is a partnership I look forward to, and as residents are spending more time indoors due to the pandemic, the NYCHA Skilled Trades Pilot Program will ensure that every apartment gets needed repairs,” she said.
In 2021, NYCHA plans to roll out a version of the program in its developments. In a statement, NYCHA chair and CEO Greg Russ said the program is central to their Blueprint for Change Transformation Plan, and is resulting in better service for residents.
“NYCHA developed the pilot after rigorous engagement with residents, elected officials and other stakeholders, who provided their ideas and feedback to ensure the program’s success,” Russ said. “By assigning painters, plasterers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians at each development, and reforming our work order system, NYCHA is working to transform its operations model and how we do business.”