New York One of the NYCHA apartments in the Bronx leaked so bad it looks more like a rainforest filled with muddy water than a proper home for humans.
The family who lives there contacted CBS2’s Lisa Rozner, saying that NYCHA had given them a two-year tryout.
Throughout the three-bedroom apartment of St. Marys Park Houses in the South Bronx, water drips through cracked ceilings. Buckets of brown and black water now line the corridors and rooms of the apartment Narellen Sabio shares with her four children.
When she wakes up every morning, Sabio says she’s overwhelmed in her living room.
“I do this maybe six times a day,” she said. “Every day, it’s a different leak from every different place.”
The leaks had ruined her 6-year-old daughter’s bedroom, and the smell was so bad, Sabio grabbed her nose when she showed Rosner.
“The mice are out of there,” she said. “It’s not safe for her to sleep.”
Sabio says she has been applying with NYCHA since the leaks began in the spring of 2020. All orders for the leak have been closed from the summer.
She says someone came earlier this week but did nothing.
“They take pictures, they make promises, ‘Oh, we’ll replace it somewhere,'” said Sabio, “and they do nothing.”
“Can they help us please because my mother was making ticket after ticket after ticket and they turned it down or canceled it which is frustrating,” said 11-year-old Jose Ocampo.
In February, Sabio says, workers uprooted rotting tanks and counters, flooded them, and left them in a makeshift basin.
“The safe way to cook,” she said, “I’m not able to do that.” “Most of the time I buy my food because it’s so uncomfortable.”
Almost every day, says Sabio, a piece of furniture gets damaged. She has two chairs that have to go in the trash, and they already had to get rid of parts of their sectional sofa.
Sabio estimates that the damage cost her at least $10,000, including her 11-year-old’s PlayStation.
“The stuff I really like, the leak is going on and I can’t get it back right now,” Jose said.
“I’m also not happy that my bike was thrown away from the leak,” said 6-year-old Lenny Ocampo.
“I’m afraid that any moment we sleep, the whole roof might come down on us,” Sabio said. “It’s a nightmare, living in hell. I just want to move from here to a safe place because I think I deserve to live like a human.”
NYCHA told CBS2 that the leaks were caused by a broken pipe. Plumbers are coming Thursday, and the agency expects the repairs to be completed by the end of September.
Sabio said earlier in September that NYCHA had offered her a different apartment to move in, but she says it was in an unsafe and uninhabitable area as well. She says she also brought NYCHA to housing court.