Concerns over lead in NYCHA buildings now focus of federal investigation

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Stacey Sager has the story.

Concerns over lead in the New York City public housing system are now the focus of a federal investigation.

It is part of a probe being conducted by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office.

According to court documents, prosecutors are investigating complaints about unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

NYCHA residents with high levels of lead in their blood are at the heart of the investigation.

"I'm concerned," said Dionne Boyd, a Linden Houses tenant.

They are concerned because in East New York at the Linden Houses you don't have to look far to spot peeling paint.

Some residents say The New York City Housing Authority promised to fix it two years ago, not to mention the constant reappearance of what looks like mold.

"What they do is, they come and they paint over the mold and that's not solving the problem," Boyd said.

On the heels of troubling revelations about lead contamination in Flint, now we learn of a federal investigation right in New York City.

The U.S. Attorney drafted a letter to a federal judge who now compels the city to release patient information, particularly information from the New York City Children's Blood Lead Registry.

The Feds are launching an "investigation into whether NYCHA has made false claims for payment, pertaining to these health and safety conditions."

At the St. Patrick's Day parade, Mayor de Blasio said he just learned of the investigation at the same time Eyewitness News did.

"We don't even know any specifics yet. We don't even know if there is a specific problem yet," Mayor de Blasio said.

But he assures tenants throughout NYCHA's buildings, the city will be cooperating with the probe.

"And if there's more we need to do, we'll do it. Obviously, our priority is keeping people safe," Mayor de Blasio said.

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