Saturday, February 13, 2016

Residents await repairs promised by NYCHA

By Sarina Trangle

The New York City Housing Authority started the year with an ambitious resolution:  complete the 420,000 pending repair requests on record for the Marble Hill Houses and 333 other developments by next year, and begin making fixes more quickly, including getting emergency repairs out of the way within 24 hours.

At the Marble Hill Houses, tenants say they’ve become accustomed to waiting at least a year for repairs. They also said they were particularly anxious for NYCHA to complete re-pointing, or waterproofing, the exterior bricks of all 11 Marble Hill buildings, since consistent water damage complaints have contributed to the repair backlog. 

NYCHA would not provide The Riverdale Press with the number of outstanding work order requests for the Marble Hill Houses. Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez’s office requested the figure two weeks ago and is still awaiting an answer, according to Mr. Rodriguez’s media and communications director Russell Murphy.

Despite NYCHA’s goals, many residents of the Marble Hill Houses, including Martiza Sota, said past experiences made them wary of putting faith in NYCHA’s plan.  

This fall, Ms. Sota said her washing machine and dryer overburdened the circuit breaker and she lost power. She said NYCHA left her in the dark for two weeks before electricians repaired the wiring in her apartment at 2861 Exterior St. 

“Emergency repairs like that are supposed to be 24 hours,” she said. “I don’t wait; I do everything I can myself.”

Last week, Aleida Aquino said Department of Health and Mental Hygiene officials pointed out safety violations caused by consistent water damage in the Little Angels daycare she runs out of her 2861 Exterior St. apartment. Ms. Aquino said she tried to prevent the violations by filling in cracks and holes in the living room walls with plaster, but that the rain continues to drip in. 

During storms, she said, she shepherds the toddlers out of the living room, where the walls show splotches of exposed plaster and the yellow paint puckers off the wall beside an alphabet banner and a Dora the Explorer poster. 

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