NYCHA residents decry bugs, rodents and danger in public housing

NEW YORK —  A judge deciding whether to approve a settlement of lawsuits citing horrid conditions in the nation's largest public housing system heard some of the 400,000 residents emotionally describe what living there is like.

One said she has so many roaches that some live in her refrigerator. Another said unlocked doors and malfunctioning elevators make the buildings dangerous. Others spoke of bedbugs, mice, mold and frequent water and heat outages.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley III did not immediately rule after listening to residents on Wednesday.

Pauley said he must decide if settlements of two lawsuits are fair, reasonable and adequate.

New York City has agreed to pay at least $2 billion and accept a federal monitor.

Pauley cautioned a crowded courtroom that "problems of this magnitude cannot be fixed overnight."

A NYCHA spokesperson sent a statement to PIX11 after the hearing.

“We take residents’ testimony seriously as we transform the Housing Authority," the spokesperson said. "We are working every day to fix problems and put new resources to work to improve public housing.”