Thursday, January 4, 2018
NYCHA Officials Behind ‘NEFARIOUS’ Lead Paint Scheme: Suit
City Housing Authority officials engaged in a “nefarious scheme” to exempt apartments from requirements that they be annually inspected for lead paint — even though they can’t confirm those units qualified for such a waiver, an amended lawsuit claims.
The federal class-action suit newly accuses NYCHA of obtaining federal and local waivers for thousands of apartments that were wrongly declared safe after they were inspected by uncertified workers.
The process allowed the cash-strapped agency to save money by “drastically” reducing the number of units that require annual inspections to fewer than 55,000, the suit claims.
“There are thousands of public housing residents that want proper inspections done of their homes,” said Corey Stern, the lawyer behind the lawsuit.
“The amended complaint evidences a plan and a coverup at the highest level of city government, and it goes all the way to the mayor’s office.”
The agency has already acknowledged it failed to conduct the annual inspections of 55,000 units, as required, from late 2012 to early 2016.
NYCHA officials said there were only 76,346 units built before 1978 — when lead was banned from paint — where lead paint hadn’t been ruled out.
They said 28,385 of those units have since been abated or tested negative for lead.