City to Install New Temporary Boilers in Red Hook Houses, Officials Say

By Nikhita Venugopal on March 7, 2014 4:51pm 

 A photograph from November 2012, soon after the temporary boilers were installed at Red Hook Houses following Hurricane Sandy.
A photograph from November 2012, soon after the temporary boilers were installed at Red Hook Houses following Hurricane Sandy.
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Leticia Barboza/NYCHA

RED HOOK — The city will install new temporary boilers in Red Hook's public housing complex within the next month — more than a year after Hurricane Sandy flooded the neighborhood and damaged the boilers, officials said.

The New York City Housing Authority will replace the existing boilers with 10 new boilers that will remain in place for at least two heating seasons, Douglas McNevin, a representative for the city agency, said Thursday night at a community meeting.

The “more efficient” boilers will be fueled by natural gas instead of oil and will cost the city $10 million, which includes installation, new natural gas lines and maintenance for two years, McNevin said.

The boilers are low-pressure and require less horsepower during usage, increasing their efficiency, he added.

For every one boiler that is currently operational at Red Hook Houses East and West, which together form Brooklyn’s largest housing development, the city will provide two temporary boilers.    

“It’ll enable us to give better service to the residents,” McNevin said. The second boiler allows for a backup in case of malfunctions or repairs. 

NYCHA officials hope to begin the project within the next month and their goal is to complete the installation within 90 days, but it could take more time, NYCHA representatives told a handful of residents who attended the meeting to voice their complaints about the living conditions at Red Hook Houses.

At a special City Council hearing last week, NYCHA officials said it would take another two years before permanent boilers could be installed in NYCHA properties and would cost a projected $1.8 billion, according to reports.

The current boilers reportedly break down regularly and one even caught fire after an oil spill in Red Hook last year.

The installation of permanent boilers is contingent on funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which the city has not yet received.

NYCHA is pushing for the boilers to be replaced and elevated in order to mitigate the risk of damage from future storms, McNevin said.

FEMA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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