New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has called for the mayor to come clean on the city’s handling—or rather mishandling—of lead paint in its public housing, and has vowed to take a hard look at how the various agencies responsible for public housing in the city are communicating with one another.
Speaking to on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York,” Stringer, whose office announced Sunday it was opening an investigation into the matter, said that city agencies weren’t communicating with each other to remove lead in children’s environments in public housing, and said he will be taking a hard look at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the Health Department, and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Mayor Bill de Blasio faced heat this weak for what appeared to be a misreporting in the numbers, jumping from a reported 19 to over 820 cases of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood living in public housing.
Calling into NY1 on Monday, de Blasio said that the spike in numbers, which were gathered between 2012 and 2016, represented a mix of children in private and public housing, despite a press release from his office identifying those numbers as being solely from public housing.
“The city should just come clean and tell us the truth about how many children, where it’s coming from, and what we can do as a city to make things better,” Stringer said. “The NYCHA residents deserve nothing less.”
Another reason for the jump in numbers could also have been the difference in standards. Until this year, the city was following old standards for lead testing that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed in 2012.
“I think it’s important that we go in and look at these various agencies and find out what they’re doing and what they’re not doing,” Stringer said.