NYCHA tenants detail problems in Bushwick homes

yellow twirl Tanks collapse. Water splashing from the pipe – visible thanks to the presence of a hole in the wall. Persistent mold.

Tenants in Bushwick homes provided details of appalling conditions and complaints of shocking neglect by the scandal-ravaged city’s housing authority Friday as elected officials rallied to demand urgent repairs at the complex.

“You get out of bed to use the bathroom… and you just walk in,” said Joshua Torres, 27, who lives in a public apartment complex in Brooklyn with his 63-year-old mother, Maria Karman.

“It’s awful because the water is flowing under my bed, even in the middle of the room.”

Another tenant who lives in a nearby building in the complex gave a similar story.

“They are just horrible. They talk to you like you’re rubbish,” said Natonia Dots, a 43-year-old disabled student who needs a stick to get around and lives in the pool. “NYCHA is not going to come to help.”

Tenants crowded into Bushwick homes to demand urgent repairs to the Brooklyn complex.
Paul Martinka
He witnessed workers scattering kitchen cabinets from the building.
Workers are removing moldy kitchen cabinets from the building.
Paul Martinka

“Once it rains, it rains in my living room. Literally,” she added.

The list of horrors in her apartment stretches from the unfixed holes in the living room wall to the moldy bathroom, where she said a New York repairman told her to replace the sink herself.

As elected officials, we feel powerless to tell them [tenants]Put in your tickets, the repairs will come. Put in your tickets, the fixes will come. “There is a system in place to deal with that,” Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Renoso said during a press conference on the project. “nothing! it’s not like that! This system is not working.”

A resident displays a destroyed wall inside Bushwick Homes
Joshua Torres points out the extensive damage to the walls of his apartment.
Paul Martinka
Joshua Torres.
“Water flows under my bed, even in the middle of the room,” Torres said.
Paul Martinka
Joshua Torres and Maria Karman.
Torres lives in dilapidated Bushwick Houses with his 63-year-old mother, Maria Karmann.
Paul Martinka

Federal authorities launched a partial takeover of NYCHA — the largest property owner in the five boroughs — in 2019 as years of scandals escalated over exposure to lead paint, mismanagement, failed repairs, failed heating and deteriorating living conditions.

NYCHA estimates that the 1,220-apartment complex that opened in 1960 would need at least $315 million in work to get it back to good repair. Finally, the agency estimated in 2017 that it needed more than $40 billion to repair all of its apartments, which totaled more than 186,000 at the time.

After years of resistance, former Mayor Bill de Blasio approved a strategy in 2018 to raise an estimated $13 billion through partnerships with private developers, which would allow NYCHA to receive additional federal funds to repair about 60,000 apartments.

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Renoso.
“As elected officials, we feel powerless to be told [tenants]“Put your tickets on, the fixes will come,” explained Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Renoso.
Paul Martinka
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Renoso.
Brooklyn BP Antonio Reynoso visits the Bushwick Houses apartment.
Paul Martinka
Damaged wall in the kitchen.
Damaged wall above the kitchen sink in the complex.
Paul Martinka
Damaged kitchen.
Inside the kitchen of Bushwick Houses Apartment.
Paul Martinka

“NYCHA personnel and plumbers are working to address these leaks, and will continue to identify and repair these lines until all work is completed,” a NYCHA spokeswoman said. “Our dedicated employees are working 24/7 to address problems caused by dilapidated infrastructure due to decades of lack of investment.”

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