On Friday, Council member Jennifer Gutierrez, Representative Nidia M. Velasquez, Assemblyman Maritza Davila, Senator Julia Salazar and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Renoso called on NYCHA leadership to fix leaks and address mold problems in at least 17 apartments on 24 Humboldt Street.
Juanita Ayala, 82, a resident of the NY1 complex, told how she was affected. Pots and pans have covered her living room floor for three months since the leak started destroying the wall and cupboards in her kitchen.
“Because the closet was almost on the floor, it was wet on the inside. They removed the closet from my wall and never came to return my lockers,” Ayala said. “When they took out those lockers the mice and cockroaches and everything inside the wall there.”
Pictures from other apartments in the building show peeling paint, yellow spots, and mold from leaks throughout the building. Advocates say the issue has been going on since last spring. However, residents in other buildings in the complex said problems were prevalent in all buildings.
Natonia Dutes, a resident of 811 Flushing Ave, said it didn’t take long for management to come out to fix damage to her roof from a leak, and they took matters into their own hands.
“It was all yellow and bad looking. So I went up the ladder and scraped it up. My ex-boyfriend was here with me. Scraped it with me. We scraped it off as good as we got it. Then we used a sander there, and had to buy my own supplies so I could fix the apartment,” Dutes said .
Dutes said she replaced her floors, refrigerator, and stove herself. There are also still leaks in two of its walls and damage from those leaks waiting to be addressed. She said it was unacceptable for anyone to wait that long, but she feels bad for the many elderly residents of the complex.
“I understand it’s projects, but projects shouldn’t be called projects because it makes it an unfinished project. It should be a completed project and make sure everyone has a safe home and luxury,” Dutes said.
NYCHA responded to our request for comment, saying, “NYCHA staff and plumbers have worked to address these leaks, and will continue to locate and repair these lines until all work is completed. Our dedicated staff are working 24/7 to address problems caused by the breakdown due to decades of lack of investment.” Plumbers made repairs to at least five leaks in the kitchen lift lines H and I and the stack stopped on March 22 and to the ceiling drain on Line F on April 4, and today we are working on D line repairs and they have a schedule for repairs early next week on the waste line on Lines F and G. Once all leaks are fixed, NYCHA personnel will expedite and coordinate all necessary plastering, painting and carpentry work for the affected units.”