Playgrounds Off-Limits For Thousands of NYC Kids as City Emerges from Pandemic


When Anthony Vargas looks for a place to play with his 18-month-old daughter, he never thinks about the long-shuttered playground right outside his Bronx public housing apartment.

In fact, Vargas, 35, didn’t realize the fenced-off area by Hunts Point Avenue Rehab, a New York City Housing Authority complex in the South Bronx, was ever once a play area for children.

“If you didn’t tell me, I’d still be thinking that was part of the post office parking lot — and I always asked myself, ‘Why [is] that so big,’ “ he told a reporter.

The location is one of the 89 NYCHA playgrounds — more than one out of 10 citywide — closed to the public due to unsafe conditions.

The scheduled repairs at those locations, and in other spots in need of fixes, were stalled by NYCHA’s COVID-19 funding moratorium. One expert shown pictures of some battered structures currently in use said the equipment should be buried at sea.


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