Bronx seniors in NYCHA building demand new elevators

Monica Makes It Happen
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THE BRONX — Seniors in one Bronx NYCHA building say their elevators are constantly broken or crammed, a potential health hazard during COVID-19.

Over 250 seniors live at Middletown Plaza in the Bronx. Geraldine Stevens, 76, is furious about chronic elevator problems in her all-senior NYCHA building.

“Give me a break, we have a 95-year old-here. Where’s your mother?” asked Stevens.

Half a dozen seniors stood out in the rain to vent to PIX11 News about their frustration. Addie Dixon, 91, who says most days she feels trapped in her home. Mary Bonanno, 83, says only one of two elevators is working Wednesday.

Tuesday, the City Comptroller Scott Stringer sent a letter to the NYCHA CEO Greg Russ and pointed out, among other things that “in September alone, there were over 3,600 elevator outages in NYCHA buildings.”

Last December, PIX11 News helped Rev. Oliver fill her food pantry on the 5th floor. Now she says COVID-19 is hitting her neighbors hard. She herself battled the virus and recovered. During a pandemic, with frail seniors, Oliver says she needs our help again, to fix these elevators.

A NYCHA spokesperson responded to our request for comment.

“NYCHA remains committed to improving elevator service across our developments and have done so in close collaboration with HUD and the Federal Monitor,” the statement read.

And NYCHA tells us an elevator outage at Middletown Plaza Senior Building was reported and fixed the same day and it was the only reported elevator outage at the development for the month of October and there were no outages for the month of September. Preventative elevator maintenance was conducted on Oct. 15.

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