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Councilman Calls For Cuomo To Declare State Of Emergency For NYCHA

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-15th) was steamed Thursday that fellow Councilman Robert Cornegy (D-36th) publicly called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step in and take action about the mess at the New York City Housing Authority.

As WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, Cornegy – chairman of the City Council Housing & Buildings Committee, wants Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in the NYCHA projects.

"The idea that residents could go without heat or hot water for three years is causing panic among NYCHA residents, as well as it should," Cornegy said.

Cornegy said the state of emergency would "allow for expedited biding and contracting with outside companies which are deemed competent to perform the necessary work."

After Cornegy made his call, two other councilmembers – Torres and Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-41st) joined City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to say they already have been working with the governor's office to fix NYCHA.

Late last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city is investing $200 million to replace boilers and upgrade heating systems at 20 public housing developments with the most chronic issues.

De Blasio said the work will be done over the next four years and that the upgrades will help the New York City Housing Authority save $5 million a year in energy costs.

Earlier this week in his State of the City address, de Blasio also called for "addressing decades of neglect and the mistakes of the past" at the New York City Housing Authority. He said in addition to the new boilers and heating systems, investments are already being used for 1,000 new roofs in public housing developments where residents have suffered by mold and leaks, as well as crime reduction efforts and faster repairs.

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