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Misery of NYCHA residents continues as city even fails to fix court-ordered problems

Posted: 6:13 PM, May 15, 2015
Updated: 2015-05-15 19:54:31-04

NEW YORK (PIX 11) - The paint is peeling. The walls are covered in mold. Rats run free and many tenants are lucky if they have hot water.

The Frederick Douglass Houses on the Upper West Side are home to thousands of people and the problems there are dire.

"I've called for repairs over and over again. And they come and they look and they say that they are going to come back and they never come back," longtime resident Soraya Vazquez said. Suffering from cancer and asthma, the mold in her apartment makes things worse.

Broken elevators, leaky pipes and bugs; just a few more of the problems described here.

According to Tenant Association president Carmen Quinones, "They have no contracts. They have no personnel to carry out all the repairs."

Quinones showed PIX11 News a court stipulation ordering the New York City Housing Authority to make repairs. She said it has not happened.

Residents and activists blamed NYCHA's inability to keep up with their aging buildings.

"Even by the standards of NYCHA, which we know have fallen incredibly low, what's happening in Douglass Houses is unacceptable," City Councilman Mark Levine said.

According to a New York City Housing Authority spokesperson, "We are actively working to understand and address the concerns of our residents at Frederick Douglass Houses. While there is an existing treatment program to address pests, we understand that we must do more. Our residents are the heart of NYCHA and we will work diligently to correct these issues and ensure they can live in clean and safe communities.”​