THE BRONX -- Nyree Stevens is on the verge of eviction, and this is not the first time she has been in a bad spot.
Stevens is a 25-year-old quadriplegic -- a victim of a random shooting at a party five years ago. Four months ago, when we first met her, she was living in terrible conditions in her public housing apartment at the Morris Houses projects in The Bronx.
The walls were falling apart, there was mold in the bathroom, leaks in the ceiling and it was infested with bugs. NYCHA, the New York City Housing Authority, had put her off on how soon they could make repairs; telling her it might take six months or so.
“I complain, I complain,” said Stevens. “Every week I go down there and they don’t do nothing,”
When we went to see conditions in her apartment, it caught NYCHA’s attention. They painted and plastered the walls, put new tiles down and put new cabinets in the kitchen. They also fixed the ceilings and broken lighting. They got rid of the mold problem too.
“Now I can live better and enjoy myself being home,” Stevens explained. All seemed well. Then disaster.
Just the other day we got another call from Stevens. NYCHA had just dropped a bombshell on her. She was told that she was facing eviction from her apartment. The reason was her mother is behind on the rent. Besides that her mother wasn’t living there anymore and she’s still listed as the "head of household."
The problem, however, is that Stevens' mother is in a coma and now living at St. Barnabus Hospital. It is very unlikely that she will ever return to their home or be able to make up those back rent payments.
The city’s human resources administration does have emergency funds to pay back the rent, but to do so Stevens' name would have to be listed on the lease for the apartment. So far, NYCHA is not allowing that.
“It’s like they don’t want me to be the head of the household,” Stevens said. “They just want we out.”
Stevens is worried NYCHA might have been upset she called PIX11 about the conditions in her apartment back in April.
As to what’s going to happen now? NYCHA issued this statement:
“We understand the difficult situation and are working closely with the Human Resources Administration to resolve the back rent issues so the resident can remain in her home.”
So far, no resolution as to the eviction problem, and Stevens could soon find herself homeless. We’ll keep you posted.