Officials at the city's public housing authority forged tenant signatures and closed repair orders early in order to fulfill a promise made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013 to eliminate the backlog of outstanding repair orders, according to a report published Sunday morning.
The Daily News reported that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) forged signatures on "pretend inspections that never occurred," and told workers to knock on doors when residents would likely not be at home so repair requests could be closed.
When reached for comment, NYCHA referred NY1 to City Hall, which said in a statement, "We've been fighting for NYCHA residents since the first day of this Administration, which is why we've committed nearly $5 billion to improve the health and safety of residents' apartments. It's why we restarted these vital inspections halted by the previous administration."
City Hall said new leadership at NYCHA will continue to improve the lives of residents.
The report comes amid months of controversies for the agency. An investigation has found widespread mismanagement at NYCHA, which has received thousands of complaints each year about broken elevators, insufficient heat, mold, and infestations of rats and cockroaches.
The city last month announced a $2 billion settlement with federal investigators to repair deplorable conditions at the city's public housing apartments, and settle claims that NYCHA used dirty tricks to hide problems from inspectors and lied about lead paint conditions to mask risks to low-income residents and their children, federal prosecutors said.
"The culture of NYCHA is to blame. The management of NYCHA is to blame," United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said in June.
The U.S. Attorney's Office called it a cover-up culture, one that since 2010 or 2011 failed to provide safety.