N is a resident at 1576 Taylor Avenue (one of the 10 Milbank buildings which Finkelstein-Timberger purchased.) Below is a quote she emailed me on Monday afternoon regarding the progress of repairs at her building. She asked to remain anonymous.
These are the major concerns of the tenants: the tenants of 1576 Taylor Ave., Bronx, NY – a highly publicized Finkelstein-Timberger property (formerly Milbank), state that although they have seen some improvements to the building (new windows, hallway lighting), progress is still lagging in the occupied apartments. Vacant apartments are vigorously being worked on, whereas tenants must wait for their own repairs. Some repairs are started and not completed nor are they given information as to when they will do so. This was not the agreement Mr. Finkelstein made when he addressed the tenants in person, in which he stated he would take care of “OCCUPIED APARTMENTS FIRST.”
Tenants also agree that Management needs to be more accessible and they also need to be present to ensure work is being done properly. “Too often we have to leave messages and our calls are not returned,” stated several other tenants in my building. They also noted that hallways need to be cleaned on a regular basis (swept daily, mopped weekly). There is always garbage in the hallways. Tenants showed me the yard which is sometimes swept and the garbage is not picked up but swept up into a pile and left in a corner (pile is still out there since August 8th)!”
N is right. Conditions, though somewhat improved, are still not at an acceptable standard, and the repairs that residents receive certainly should not come second to repairs made in vacant units. Let’s hope it doesn’t stay this way for long.