WAKEFIELD, the Bronx — Three weeks ago, Maritza Ortiz called PIX11 for help because city had placed her family in a hot, ground-floor apartment on East 225th Street with only one window and a locked gate.
Her asthmatic son was having trouble breathing and she wanted a better home after living in a city shelter for two years. Now Ortiz says the landlord wants the family out.
“Because I exposes him about what this is, it is not an apartment, it is for storage, he got angry,” Ortiz told PIX 11.
Her newest problem is that her son is now covered with bites, she says possibly from bed bugs or rats.
Again she showed PIX11 the NYC Department of Buildings’ Certificate of Occupancy, which clearly states the first floor is zoned for storage only.
“We need to get out,” Larry Brown, Ortiz' husband, told PIX11. “I don’t want my son to get bitten."
A spokeswoman for the city’s Human Resources Administration sent PIX11 the following statement: “While we cannot discuss the details of the case because of the Social Services law that protects client confidentiality, we have been working closely with this family in partnership with our service provider to transfer them to another unit."