7 On Your Side Investigates: Work orders left unresolved for months in NYCHA housing

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A woman living in New York City public housing says NYCHA only fixed her dilapidated ceiling after Eyewitness News got involved.

By that time, Ahzne Miller said she had been living with a dilapidated ceiling for nearly a year, despite multiple requests for repairs.

"Every problem I have made a complaint about, they don't come at all," Miller complained. "It's just depressing."

Her experience is not isolated.

A November 2019 report by the federal monitor assigned to help NYCHA resolve systemic problems that have negatively impacted the living conditions of NYCHA residents found serious flaws with Maximo, the agency's system for tracking work orders.

"Consequently, an impressive number of work orders could be identified as "closed" without a repair actually being successfully completed," the monitor wrote.

The monitor also found NYCHA employees had closed out work orders if a resident was not home or unavailable.

NYCHA committed to improving how it handled work orders, but a February 2020 report by the monitor found roughly 25% of work orders had still been classified as unfounded, closed with no work done, or canceled.

In Miller's case, Eyewitness News found Miller had submitted a March 2019 request for repairs to her ceiling at the Butler Houses in the Bronx.

When no work occurred after roughly seven months, Miller filed a subsequent request in October 2019.

NYCHA scheduled a visit to Miller's apartment one day later and closed out the work order without making any repairs.

Miller finally reached out to Eyewitness News for help in February 2020.

A spokesperson acknowledged the agency's oversight and told Eyewitness News it would expedite repairs to Miller's apartment.

That same spokesperson explained that a maintenance worker had closed out Miller's October work order requesting "ceiling repairs" so the maintenance worker could assign a new work order for "plaster work" to Miller's apartment, but that work order was never made.

The NYCHA spokesperson said the agency was looking into the issue to make sure it does not happen again and is also re-training staff on how to handle work orders.

"NYCHA is implementing solutions to improve quality of life for our residents. We are looking at all of our operations, including the systems we utilize," the NYCHA spokesperson wrote in a statement.

Miller contacted Eyewitness News to confirm crews came to repair her ceiling following inquiries by Eyewitness News.

"Thank you for your impact," Miller wrote.

Miller also said she never should have had to call the news to get her ceiling repaired.

"It's like they are not professional," Miller said.

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