Cold comfort this winter in public housing

Winter is looming, and the New York City Housing Authority is not ready — again.

Last year, half of NYCHA developments did not have heat service for more than a day at some point, and the city scrambled to repair aging boilers and hot-water systems. Mayor Bill de Blasio set aside $200 million for heating upgrades at 20 developments with chronic outages. That was meant to benefit some 45,000 residents.

Now cold temperatures are back, and de Blasio and NYCHA leadership were back last week, too, with an insufficient progress update. It included relatively small-bore fixes like new boilers at 12 developments, with a few more on the way. Plus a few mobile boilers for emergencies, better windows to keep in heat, and a couple dozen outside heating technicians to improve maintenance.

With all that, there have been no meaningful heating changes for about half of the 20 developments de Blasio identified last season as being in chronically poor condition.

NYCHA says it has worked on the issue, and that the projects associated with that $200 million are on schedule to be completed between 2019 and 2021.

That’s a long time to wait if you’re the one shivering.

One thing that might speed the way is a construction technique called design-build. Yet the city and the federal government, which subsidizes NYCHA and would approve new construction methods, are still working out details.

There’s also money. The city says it is waiting for $350 million from the state for boiler repairs. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office says it is waiting for the appointment of a court-appointed monitor for NYCHA, a process necessitated by a consent decree because of the agency’s awful performance on problems like lead and mold.

Enough. NYCHA developments already have experienced problems with heat this year. Spend the money, fix the boilers, and make sure this winter is not as bad as last one’s for residents. They must not be left out in the cold.