Public Housing Elevators Under Scrutiny

Records show that there have been about 300 injuries related to faulty New York public housing elevators since 2001. Ironically, a problem stemming from chronic underfunding has cost the Housing Authority $3.5 million in settlements over six years.

"The Housing Authority, the city's biggest landlord, provides low-rent housing subsidized by the federal government to poor and moderate-income families. It is responsible for one of the biggest and busiest elevator fleets in New York City: 3,338 elevators in 2,618 buildings. Its elevators make 3.1 million trips a day and 1.2 billion trips a year.

Ricardo Elías Morales, the Housing Authority's interim chairman, said the reported accidents and injuries were just a fraction when considering those millions of elevator trips. 'Within that context, if you really look at the usage and then look at the trips and injuries, the likelihood of someone getting hurt is one in 34 million trips,' he said.

The agency's elevators have been criticized by tenants and elected officials after a 5-year-old Brooklyn boy, Jacob Neuman, fell 10 stories to his death while trying to escape a stalled elevator in August. Largely as a result of that accident, and widespread complaints about elevator reliability, the authority pledged last year to spend $107 million to replace about 550 elevators in the next five years."

Full Story: Elevator Accidents in Public Housing Are Frequent, and Costly

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