Interim NYCHA chair Kathryn Garcia begins tenure with repairs

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens — It was her first official day on the job for the new NYCHA interim chair so Kathryn Garcia joined the Saturday blitz effort to provide work order repairs for residents at Queensbridge Houses.

“It’s a huge amount of work and we hear a lot of frustration from some of the tenants,” Garcia told PIX11 News.

It was also a public relations blitz as well with a gaggle of reporters and camera crews touring select apartments where repairs are underway.

“I went to court and got a court order but then all the tickets I had prior, they closed,” Tamara Stokes, a Queensbridge South resident told Garcia.

Stokes had been waiting months for the leaks on her walls to be plastered over until now.

Coincidentally she’s a sanitation department supervisor who has great faith that the new temporary NYCHA head, her former and future sanitation commissioner boss, will get the job done.

But other NYCHA residents weren’t so sure.

“I haven’t had no heat since it got cold,” Betty Williams, a resident of Queensbridge South Houses, told PIX11.

Garcia will only be on the job three months and she said she didn’t know who would be the monitor or the long term head of NYCHA.

Her appointment comes after the city struck a landmark deal with the federal government to appoint a monitor to oversee the overhaul of NYCHA, avoiding a federal takeover in the city’s 325 housing projects plagued with mold, leaks and heat problems for its 400,000 residents.

“There are a lot of challenges here,” Garcia told PIX11 News, choosing not to comment on who should be the new, permanent head of NYCHA.

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