Bronx seniors threaten rent strike over new elevator demands

Monica Makes It Happen

THE BRONX — Dozens of Bronx seniors say the elevators in their NYCHA building are constantly broken.

They are now planning a rent strike if they are not replaced immediately.

There are 17 floors at the Mitchell Houses in the Bronx. With inconsistent elevator service now for months, many here say they feel trapped in their homes. 

Sandra Gilchrist and her neighbors packed the lobby and courtyard of the houses holding handmade signs with their walkers, sending a strong message to the city. They want new elevators or they say they won’t pay rent in August. 

They are organized and energized and say they are willing to fight for new elevators now. 

“We are demanding that NYCHA execute and install our elevators in August. They are 10 years past repair date. They are just being patched together,” said community activist Ramona Ferreyra.

On Wednesday afternoon, one out of the two elevators was out of order. Ramon Garcia, who lives on the 16th floor, says he can’t take the stairs anymore. Dozens of seniors have started a petition and say they plan on not paying their rent unless they see replacement work on these elevators next month. 

A NYCHA spokesperson responded to PIX11 News’ request for comment.

“We currently have an outage to elevator A at Mitchel Houses that was reported yesterday afternoon. We have assigned an elevator team and supervisor to make repairs and elevator B is providing service for the duration of the outage.”

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