Follow-up Friday: Rats, water and repairs

Monica Makes It Happen

Seniors who live in one Hell’s Kitchen building say they have a serious rat problem — so bad that it’s become a health hazard. 

Grace Gilbert, 76, said she’s too afraid to even go inside her building’s laundry room. Rats are taking over.

“I go somewhere else.  I go to another laundromat — not here,” said Gilbert.

Harborview Terrace on 55th street is an all-seniors New York City Housing Authority building.  Beatrice Williams, 69, lives in the building and says she fights the rats off with her walker sometimes, but they are not afraid.

“I’m walking here and all of a sudden there’s one right there and he won’t move out of my way,” said Williams.

A NYCHA spokesperson told PIX11, “Our pest control unit treated the grounds on Thursday, sealing several small holes in the compactor room and around piping to prevent rodent access. They will follow-up again on Monday.”

Initially, NYCHA said, “Exterminators treated the grounds at this development last week and found no evidence of rodent activity today. They will continue to monitor this site and provide additional treatment as needed.”

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

A NYCHA spokesperson updated PIX11 Friday.

“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.”

There was another issue Friday morning, though.

“Hot water service was down this morning due to low water in one of the boilers. Service was restored in an hour and staff was dispatched to verify adequate levels. They are currently coordinating access with the resident,” a NYCHA spokesperson said.

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Bronx Reverend Carmen Hernandez said her building on Watson Ave. needs repairs from floors to ceilings.

Residents there said their bathrooms are leaking and kitchen floors are caving in.

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 NYCHA 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.

“Extensive carpentry work addressing the resident’s needs are scheduled to be completed [Saturday] – with follow-up plaster work scheduled for Monday.”

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

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