New York’s Housing Authority promised Friday it would accelerate plans for lead testing at the Bronx River Houses after The Post exposed a potential 20-year timeline to remove the toxic substance from the complex.
“Our residents and their children deserve to be safe from lead-based hazards in their own homes,” said NYCHA Interim chair Kathryn Garcia.
The Bronx River Houses was one of three developments identified by federal prosecutors in their June 2018 lawsuit as lead contaminated.
Almost all — 98 percent — of the units there tested for lead came back positive.
The feds named the Harlem River Houses and Williamsburg Houses as the two other badly lead-tainted public housing complexes.
However, a deal City Hall struck with federal regulators gave NYCHA has many as 20 years to get the lead out of Bronx River, while requiring the Harlem River and Williamsburg projects get cleaned up in just five.
City Hall sources said the Friday announcement was in response to the stories published by The Post about the disparity.
However, officials would not commit to a hard timeline for abatement on Friday.
“This has never been done before,” said de Blasio spokeswoman Olivia Lapeyrolerie. “We won’t know the scope of the repairs until we get in there.”
The new testing will be part of the city’s $88 million effort to inspect 135,000 of NYCHA’s 170,000 apartments for lead with an x-ray machine, beginning this spring.
“I’m glad that NYCHA jumped on it as fast as they did,” said Norma Saunders, the president of the development’s tenant association. “Let’s hope what they’re proposing, they stick with it.”
“To have a 20-year plan, that was disrespectful,” she added.
It’s the first bit of good news in a while at Bronx River, which is also contending with a recent outbreak of Legionnaires disease.
“Between this and the Legionnaires, the residents are fearful,” Saunders said.
NYCHA also said it would hold a special Saturday repair blitz at the complex to tackle its growing repair backlog. The average wait for a repair at Bronx River hit 84 days in January, nearly 6 times the goal of 15 days, records show.