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Senate Passes Bill That Would Provide Rent Relief for NYCHA Tenants Who Experience Utility Outages

Astoria Houses (Queens Post)

June 9, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

NYCHA tenants who experience utility outages may soon be entitled to rent relief.

A bill sponsored by State Sen. Mike Gianaris has passed the senate that would provide NYCHA tenants with a rent reduction should their utilities like gas, heat and electricity be out of service.

The legislation was prompted by a gas outage at a NYCHA building at Astoria Houses last year where 48 households at the development were unable to prepare hot meals for nearly three months.

The residents at the 1-04 Astoria Blvd. complex were without cooking gas from Sept. 23 through Dec. 10.

“Months-long utility outages are unacceptable for any New Yorker, whether in private or public housing,” Gianaris said in a statement shortly after Wednesday’s vote.

“NYCHA residents should not be expected to pay full rent, which typically includes utilities, when they are not receiving the service.”

The bill, called the NYCHA Utility Accountability Act, would reduce a tenant’s rent obligation on a prorated basis to compensate for an outage. The reduction would be the greater of 10 percent of the tenant’s rent or $75 per month. The utilities defined by the bill include, gas, heat, water and electrical service.

Gianaris said last year that the outages at Astoria Houses were not isolated and that there have been service disruptions at NYCHA buildings across New York City.

The lawmaker, who represents western Queens, said that his legislation would create a financial incentive for NYCHA to fix service in a more timely fashion.

The bill is now being carried in the assembly by Khaleel Anderson, who represents southern Queens.

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2 Comments

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M. Rivas

NYCHA residents do not pay for utilities other than a nominal fee for washing machine and air conditioners also, NYCHA does not turn off the gas FDNY or Con Ed does, the delays in gas restoration is due to delays in apps by Con Ed DOB and Con Ed again, all the blame should not fall on NYCHA. A bill should also include Con Ed and DOB as well. In addition the new local law imposed no had contractors going through gas lines and shutting down lines as well….be part of the solution don’t add to the problem!

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Sara Ross

Does anybody know or has anybody seen the head of NYCHA? I’m sure he/she is getting a nice, big salary for doing nothing (same as Big Foot’s wife).

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