Publication Date October 27, 2016 | NY Daily News

NYCHA paints over Brooklyn housing project's toxic mold issue

United States

Toxic mold continues to plague the Red Hook public housing complex four years after it was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, according to a survey released Thursday.

The survey by the Red Hook Initiative finds that out of 280 respondents of the Red Hook Houses, 40% said they currently have mold and 94% have had leaks and mold in the past.


In many cases, New York City Housing Authority repairmen at one of the city's oldest public housing projects simply scrape off the mold and paint over it, residents say.

But the problem comes back with a vengeance a few weeks later, tenants complain.


One tenant brought her 18-month-old child to the hospital to find that the infant had an upper respertory infection.

"While the Authority is making considerable progress, we remain committed to further improving our methods in identifying and addressing the root causes of mold, drastically reducing reoccurrence rates," she added.

For one Red Hook Houses tenant, it took a visit to the hospital for her 18-month-old daughter to make another call for help.

Mayra, who declined to give her last name, took her daughter to Maimonides Hospital three weeks ago, where the tyke was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection.

Mold is all over the ceiling of their bathroom and on the wall of the bedroom used by their four children.


The houses have reportedly had these issues since Hurricane Sandy hit the complex hard four years ago.


There has been a 27% mold reoccurrence rate in the Red Hook East and West complexes, court records show. That's slightly better than the 32% average at other NYCHA buildings throughout the city.

A resident said the maintenance workers are reluctant to open up any walls, even though it seems the mold has spread into the walls.

There are 25 total open mold complaints in Red Hook, city officials said.

As for Mayra’s family, last December her 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with asthma.

"She never had a problem before we moved from Bensonhurst," said Mayra, who was born in the Dominican Republic.