Federal watchdog signs off on NYCHA’s $450M boiler plan

Federal watchdog signs off on NYCHA’s $450M boiler plan

The federal watchdog for NYCHA signed off on the agency’s plan to use $450 million in state aid to replace decrepit boilers and elevators in its developments, officials said Thursday.

“This is a remarkable first step towards dramatically improving the lives of NYCHA residents,” said NYCHA chairman Greg Russ. “NYCHA will quickly move to expedite the planning and construction process.”

News of the approval came just hours before the arrival of the first cold snap of the season, which forecasters say could send temperatures tumbling into the 20s.

The first wave of boiler replacements will target 37 troublesome plants that provide heat for nine developments by 2023. The schedule for replacing the rest has yet to be determined.

Those developments include 830 Amsterdam Ave., Carey Gardens, Coney Island 1B, 4 and 5, High Bridge Gardens, Butler Houses, Mitchel Houses, Queensbridge North, Richmond Terrace and Unity Plaza.

NYCHA also plans to use the money to replace 148 troublesome elevators in 10 developments — work that will take until 2024 to finish.

State officials held up releasing the money for years over concerns about NYCHA’s management, angering tenants and city officials.

NYCHA wants to use the injection of cash to help tackle two of its longest-standing problems — heating and elevator failures.

Statistics obtained by the Legal Aid Society and The Post showed that nearly 90% of NYCHA’s apartments lost either heat or hot water during the last winter.

Still, officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, spun the performance as a win because they managed to slash the average time residents endured outages in half.

City Hall has until October 2024 to reduce heating outages to just 15% of apartments during the winter under the agreement signed with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development in January.

Heating and elevator failures are just two scandals in the cascade of crises that have crippled the nation’s biggest public housing agency — which is the city’s largest landlord.

The agency is under a partial federal takeover that includes the federal monitor because of city mismanagement, including a lead-paint debacle.

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