Follow-up Friday: Major leaks, hot water and wheel-chair accessibility

Monica Makes It Happen

Bronx Reverend Carmen Hernandez said her building on Watson Ave. needs repairs from floor to ceiling. From leaks in their bathrooms to their kitchen floors caving in, residents of the building vented their frustrations to PIX11.

Hernandez is the tenant president. She said Rep. Ritchie Torres was listening to their complaints. Torres asked PIX11 to help shine a light.

“Watson Ave. is some of the worst living conditions I have ever seen,” said Torres.

A New York City Housing Authority spokesperson said “repairs are scheduled beginning next week for the units mentioned in Wednesday’s story. The Neighborhood Administrator met with the Reverend on Wednesday to discuss the next steps that we are taking.”

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Some children who live at the Van Dyke houses in Brownsville told PIX11 they were tired of living with no hot water — and taking cold baths for months.

A NYCHA spokesperson said “NYCHA plumbers have narrowed down the cross-connection issue to the E and F lines at Van Dyke I Houses. They did this by shutting off the cold water, which allowed the hot water to flow. They checked apartments from the first through the sixth floor and found the following conditions that still need to be repaired: A cross connection under the kitchen sink on the F line and washing machine hookups with no check valves on the E line. Development Maintenance staff are following up with visiting apartments to locate and correct any additional improperly installed washing machines on the E and F lines.”

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Back in December, Scherry Barnett and Schania Burgess, a mother and daughter living in a Midtown shelter, asked PIX11 to help them find a wheel-chair accessible apartment.

Since then, PIX11 followed 16-year-old Schania’s journey fighting COVID-19. Hospitalized and on a ventilator, there’s good news: Schania is feeling much better. 

“Everything is going great. I’m so happy. She is up and alert. I’m really happy. I couldn’t ask for more,” said Barnett. And, she got a call from the city about a new apartment.

“Next week, I’m looking at an apartment. A three bedroom, Section 8, wheelchair accessible apartment,” said Barnett.

A NYCHA spokesperson says, “We have connected with the voucher holder and she is registered as an applicant for the unit at Drew Hamilton Houses. We are waiting on some paperwork and working with Ms. Scherry to follow-up and continue the process.”

PIX11 will be there every step of the way.

If you have a story reach out to Monica Morales at monica@pix11.com.

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