A report by Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office and obtained by AMNY confirmed what anyone who’s called 311 to try to get help for a building emergency already knows: the Department of Housing and Preservation doesn’t respond to complaints in a timely fashion. Inspectors responding to the majority of pressing issues, like collapsed ceilings or no heat, don’t show up until at least 24 hours later most of the time, according to AMNY.
“Nearly 93% of ‘dire’ complaints to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development were not dealt with in the 12-hour response time the agency has set for itself. The agency has over 400 inspectors tasked with responding to a barrage of tens of thousands of annual complaints.” 88.5% of the 17,852 dire complaints in 2012 & 2013 were resolved within five days, which is better than nothing but not quite fast enough.
It’s not entirely the HPD’s fault that they’re so slow, since the inspectors are overmatched and underfunded. The report suggests that the HPD needs to upgrade its outdated technology, and the HPD agrees, and says it’s begun researching how to modernize (which kind of indicates how dysfunctional this department appears to be – how much research do you have to do to know you have to buy a bunch of iPads?). They’re also hiring more inspectors.