Nancy Otero says she’s been waiting for repairs to be done to her bathroom for months, inside her apartment at the Bronx River Houses.
“I feel helpless. PIX11 News is my last hope. My sink is on the floor right now,” Otero said.
She needs to use a wheelchair, so it’s hard enough to maneuver, but a massive leak started in her bathroom. It’s impossible for her even to bathe.
“I put in complaint after complaint to the city, and nothing happens,” she said.
According to a spokesperson at the New York City Housing Authority, the tub in the apartment above was the source of the leak.
“They made a temporary fix until the tub can be replaced later this week. Staff also installed the resident’s bathroom sink today and will continue extensive repair work this week. This situation was unacceptable. We can and must do better.”
Within hours, Otero’s bathroom repairs were underway.
Lovelean Browder has been fighting mold in her apartment in the Gowanus Houses for years now. She has had enough.
“It goes away, they fix it, knock down the wall, build the wall back up. I am hoping third time is a charm,” said Browder.
She worries for the health of her 5-year-old son, who sleeps just feet away from the problem.
“My 5-year old watches Spongebob and he is coughing and sneezing,” said Browder.
Browder says she first noticed the mold in 2013, and says the New York City Housing Authority knocked down the wall then.
Then a year later, Browder says the mold came back.
A spokesperson for the New York City Housing Authority says: “This situation is unacceptable and we are working urgently to identify the source of the leak. Families who call NYCHA home deserve to live in well maintained developments. We can and must do better.”
NYCHA says they have launched a new pilot program to better identify and treat mold at its source. The new pilot program is called Mold Busters.
“We are committed to fighting mold at its source,” said Brian Clarke, the senior vice-president of NYCHA.
87-year-old Dorothy Brown has Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and says she was approved for a medical transfer but she is still waiting.
“It’s been two years of waiting,” said Brown.
Brown is on the 10th floor, and the elevators at the Gowanus Houses aren’t always reliable, says Brown’s daughter.
“Housing keeps giving me the run-around. She has been here since the ’50s and they keep passing her by,” said Aileen Brown-Summers.
Brown was a foster parent to 45 children.
A spokesperson for the New York City Housing Authority told us: “We are committed to accommodating residents like Ms. Brown who need to transfer to an apartment that better fits their needs, and make every effort to do so with the apartments that become available. There are 260,000 families on NYCHA’s wait for —those who are waiting to transfer, as well as those waiting for a chance to get into public housing.”
The Brown family will be moving into a new three-bedroom apartment next week.
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