Report says NYCHA violated lead paint regulations since at least 2013

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new report accuses the New York City Housing Authority of violating federal lead-based paint regulations for years.

The report is a result of a joint investigation conducted by the city's Department of Investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

It says NYCHA failed to ensure that EPA-certified supervisors oversaw all jobs to remove lead paint from its buildings between 2013 and 2018.

The report says that means the city's largest landlord could not ensure that all jobs were conducted safely and in compliance with regulations.

"The findings of this investigation involving NYCHA's lead abatement process illustrate the profound and damaging impact of government wrongdoing and incompetence. In this case, NYCHA managers involved in the lead abatement process had a total disregard for the facts, for the law and integrity, and, most importantly, for the well-being of NYCHA residents," DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett said. "NYCHA needs to ensure that individuals in positions of authority and supervision are doing their jobs and doing them correctly."

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Garnett said the DOI and its partners have reached out to potential victims.

"This sounds like criminal conduct to me," said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. "If you are endangering the health and safety and well-being of New Yorkers and of people who are relying upon the government agency you work for, that sounds like something that law enforcement should be looking at."

NYCHA issued the following response to the report:

"As stated by the Inspector General, NYCHA cooperated with this investigation and has made significant systemic changes to its lead abatement program. NYCHA continues to work with the Federal Monitor to establish the highest standards for its policies and programs, not only to fulfill the terms of the 2019 HUD Agreement and bring the Authority into compliance but also to rebuild a culture of employee service and accountability; regain resident, employee, and public trust; and ensure this never happens again."

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