The Surreal Estate

Perspectives on Tenant Organizing from the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board

Tag Archives: leaks

Eye Witness News Releases Investigative Report on New NYC Affordable Housing Stock

Yesterday, Eyewitness News released an investigative report on conditions in newly built affordable housing.  These buildings were constructed  as a result of Mayor Bloomberg’s big push to develop 165,000 units of affordable housing in the city.  Unfortunately, the housing stock has been proven to be architecturally unsound and dangerous to live in as a result of mold and leaks.

In each one [building], Eyewitness News found the dreams of working families to live comfortably drowned out by leaks.

“Water was actually pouring down as we came in to check apartment, had to be a main pipe that broke,” said Hermer Perez, a resident.

“So, whenever it snows or rains you can’t use your bedroom?” Hoffer asked.

“Yes, that’s it,” the resident said.

“You should be able to sleep in your room,” Hoffer said.

“I know,” the resident said.

“All the water came through cracks in ceilings and it was like it was raining in here,” said Erika Martinez, a resident.

The leaks have damaged new units that rent for up to $1,500: warped window sills, water stained ceilings, and mold.

As tenant organizers, we regularly see atrocious conditions like the ones described here.  The difference is we generally work  with tenants suffering in old, rent-stabilized apartment buildings which have been caught up in the process of predatory equity and as a result severely neglected.  What is shocking in this case is that there is no excuse for such malfunctioning architecture- the buildings are brand new!

No one says it better than Lantanya Rentas, a resident of one of these buildings in the Bronx.

“This is a brand new building?” Hoffer asked.

“Yes it is,” said Lantanya Rentas, a resident.

“What do you make of that?” Hoffer asked.

“A cheap job, fast work, they just wanted their money I guess,” Rentas said.

To read the report, click here.

VIDEO: 1314 Seneca Avenue – Tenants Speak Up!

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