NYCHA residents, activists, and community leaders rallied Wednesday on the steps of City Hall to protest what they claim is a pattern of negligence and incompetence within the public housing authority.

Protesters wearing Community Voices Heard buttons chanted slogans such as "NYCHA, NYCHA, can't you see? All this mold is killing me!" and "I can't breathe!" One demonstrator held a sign that read, "Toxic mold threatens home and family health!" along with "Stop NYCHA from pushing out the poor!"

Speakers, including Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Council Member Ritchie Torres cited a laundry list of health issues facing NYCHA residents, including mold, rodent infestation, and sporadic heat and hot water.

Joyce Bryan, a resident of the Farragut Houses in Vinegar Hill, told Gothamist she's been without heat and hot water this winter. "I had to buy a space heater, or else I would've frozen," she said.

She also commented on the difficult living conditions she says she and her neighbors face, citing messy halls and broken locks on doors.

"Please do your job, do what you're supposed to do," she said of NYCHA. The authority reported $17 billion in capital debt in March 2015. Other persistent issues include lead paint, darkened stairwells, and a dearth of cooking gas and air conditioning.

A NYCHA representative told Gothamist that turnaround times for basic repairs have fallen to an average of five days across NYCHA housing, exceeding a previously-set goal of seven days.

An estimated 400,000 people live across 180,000 units of NYCHA housing in NYC. Tenants' average yearly income is $23,500; average rent is $483 a month.

As part of an effort to stabilize the finances of NYCHA and fund repair efforts, Mayor de Blasio in 2015 launched the NextGen Neighborhoods program, which calls for the authority to sell off tracts of undeveloped land to private developers. The controversial plan has been rejected by some residents and affordable housing advocates as "Next Gentrification"—while Mayor de Blasio has set affordability requirements for public-land development, critics say the affordability isn't deep enough.

NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye has promised that NextGen Neighborhoods will not raise NYCHA rents or sell off NYCHA buildings.

The city's 2016 NYCHA investment plan of $242 million was an increase over the previous year's $210.5 million. The money is being used to replace aging infrastructure, according to NYCHA, which on average is 50 to 60 years old.

The speakers at yesterday's rally addressed Mayor de Blasio and his administration, asking them to fund repairs, eradicate decrepit conditions and allocate more money to NYCHA for the next 10 years. De Blasio recently announced a $1 billion investment for roof replacement over the next decade.

But James stressed the need for expediency on Wednesday. "NYCHA is the worst landlord in the City of New York," she said. "Our families and communities cannot wait."