EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) -- It is definitely not summertime and this video of Regina Weston was not shot in some far away tropical climate.
But your eyes are not deceiving you. This East Harlem Public Housing tenant is indeed holding a spray canister of 'Off!' mosquito repellent, and a Citronella candle, because she says her apartment is infested with mosquitos, and has been for months, throughout this long, cold winter.
“And there’s a big one right here. And you can see the blood was in it when they was biting the kids. See the blood on it. I had to smash them,” said Regina. The mosquito problem, Regina tells us is a result of some kind of raw sewage leakage in the basement of her building at the Wagner Houses.
Our cameras are obviously not built to detect smells, but our noses certainly can. “I reported the sewer smell inside my daughter’s room. Because it was getting so bad that she couldn’t sleep in there,” said Regina.
We tried to check out the basement, only to find the outside door closed and locked. But it turns out several other residents sitting right outside were an open book. We found Ms. Johnnie Dotson of the local tenant watch patrol sitting on a bench.
We’ve been telling you about the ups and downs in the New York City Housing Authority for the last couple of years now and wanted to find out how these issues at the Wagner Houses mesh with the agency’s pledge to turn over a new leaf in 2015.
After all, NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye told us about a renewed sense of accountability when we interviewed her back in November.
Back at Regina’s building where we even had some difficulty even getting through her front door, frustration - like the smell of raw sewage around here - is intensifying.
“Why should I have to live like I’m an animal? It’s not fair. I gotta smell. These people -- this is where they use the bathroom. Why should that be inside my kids room?” said Regina.