Environment and Energy, Features, Health and Safety, New York

Attacking Mold at NYCHA

April 9, 2018

By William Keeney

NEW YORK, NY – On Saturday April 7th, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has announced a court settlement regarding removing mold in NYCHA buildings.
The agreement, submitted to the court includes the full rollout of the Mold Busters program authority-wide, improved training for staff, independent specialists, and an independent ombudsman.

“This is a positive step for NYCHA and our residents. We appreciate the parties coming together to agree on real goals and science-based solutions that will help public housing residents,” said NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo. “Mold is a serious issue, and we are committed to resolving it, not only on the surface but also by uncovering and resolving root causes and educating tenants on how to work with us to prevent mold.”

NYCHA has been working with a court-appointed Special Master, a certified industrial hygienist, and building systems experts since 2016 to improve and update mold inspection and remediation processes at the Authority.

Last year, the Special Master oversaw the launch of Mold Busters, a pilot program to aggressively combat mold by empowering front-line staff with the knowledge and equipment to find and fix the source of mold. It includes new training, new tools like moisture meters, and strategic remedies such as new mold-killing paint. The yearlong pilot was launched at 38 developments throughout the city on May 1, 2017.

The prevalence of mold in NYCHA developments is directly connected to the Authority’s aging infrastructure, such as roofs, facades, ventilation systems, and pipes. NYCHA developments have roofs that have not been replaced in 20 years, facades that are no longer sealing the building from rainwater, antiquated ventilation systems that do not work properly, and decaying in-wall piping. All of these factors contribute to leaks and mold.

April 9, 2018

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