April 5, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
All 26 roofs at Long Island City’s Queensbridge Houses have been completely replaced for the first time in over 30 years, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
The improvements are part of a roof replacement program launched in 2015 that targets all NYCHA developments across the city. The new roofs are meant to reduce mold, which can cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Leaky roofs, the city says, can also be a danger to a building’s physical structure.
“Residents may never see the new roof over their heads, but they will feel the difference,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We are targeting a major source of leaks and mold, making kids healthier and helping parents sleep easier. With the right resources, we can deliver real-time improvements to the quality of life for thousands of families.”
The Queensbridge Houses were part of phase one of the replacement program, which saw new roofs at 65 NYCHA buildings. Both the north and south portions of the Long Island City development cost around $28 million each, combining with the remaining NYCHA buildings for a total of $91.5 million.
“These new roofs mean real quality of life improvements for 13,000 residents,” said Shola Olatoye, NYCHA Chair and CEO, in a statement. “While only the first phase in a $1.3 billion investment, through these critical infrastructure repairs, we are making major strides toward achieving our NextGeneration NYCHA goal to provide safe, clean and connected communities for all public housing residents.”
The city announced that the second phase of roof replacements, consisting of 78 roofs, has now entered construction. This phase costs $100 million, and is expected to be completed by June 2019.
The mayor’s announcement comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo visited several NYCHA developments across the city and criticized their conditions, calling them “disgusting” at a March press conference. De Blasio called Cuomo’s move a “political opportunistic act” at a radio soon days later.