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East Village residents say scaffolding is attracting the homeless, drug addicts

EAST VILLAGE — The block of East 13th Street between First and Second avenues has become a haven for the homeless and druggies.

It’s tied to the scaffolding up in front of the Verizon building. The scaffolding combined with parked cars provide a little cover, according to block resident John Joseph.

“They put this scaffolding up last spring [then] finished the work. It’s been nothing but drug activity,” the resident told PIX11's Howard Thompson.

John, by the way, is lead singer for the hardcore punk band The Cromags.

But he’s a leading voice for residents who are angry and scared of some of the characters invading their block.

I’m told the scaffolding hasn’t been needed since about March. So why is it still up?

Verizon blames the city’s Department of Buildings for delayed inspections. In any case, after we got involved, the NYPD suddenly made a sweep and Verizon says scaffolding removal was scheduled for Dec. 7.

We’ll see what happens to the block now.