As many residents and others walk to and from Sumner Houses they may wonder why so much scaffolding is surrounding the area. Construction workers have been putting up these scaffolds for quite some time now right in the front and on the sides of these buildings. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is launching a city wide program called the Construction Management/Build Program (CM/Build) to “improve the quality of construction projects” and to make sure things get done in a timely manner. NYCHA has decided to use Technico Construction for Pre-Construction on Sumner houses.
According to the scaffolding, Technico Construction has a permit for construction valid until 4/1/2012 so we should see some action in the coming months. It is not 100% clear exactly what NYCHA’s plans are for Sumner houses, but preparation is both a good sign and a good start. NYCHA’s purpose in getting Sumner houses prepared for construction is to preserve this public housing development. A few years ago, NYCHA awarded a contract to an architectural firm called Parsons Brinckerhoff. The job of this firm was to evaluate all of the facilities (residential and non-residential) owned by NYCHA and to highlight where immediate and future improvements were needed. After this assessment, NYCHA learned that close to 7 billion dollars was needed to complete all the necessary improvements. You can read more on this project here.
On April 30, 2011, Sumner houses turned 53 years old. Over the course of these 5 decades there were improvements made to this development, but more improvements must be done to keep these buildings from falling apart. Close to 3,000 people live in these apartments and they depend on NYCHA to provide a safe living environment for them so this project is a great start. It seems that the Pre-Construction on Sumner houses wasn’t the only thing on NYCHA’s agenda because other neighboring developments are also being prepared for construction.
During these economic times affordable housing is essential in keeping thousands of people off the streets and in shelters. By preserving these developments NYCHA is not only contributing to the economy, but they are saving countless lives. An update on this pre-construction project should be issued soon to give residents a heads up on what’s going on in the neighborhood. It’s about time that some of those funds derived from the Parsons Brinckerhoff evaluation come to Sumner and do some good for our community!