Tenants in a battle with their perpetually absent landlord claimed victory on Wednesday when a judge ruled that a housing advocate take over the slum.
“We feel good,” said 4619 Park Ave. resident Jose Benitez with a smile across his face. “We feel like the responsible people are finally gonna come in and do what they need to do.”
Bronx Housing Court Judge Jerald Klein transferred control to John Reilly of non-profit Fordham Bedford Housing Corp. from alleged slumlord Luigi Capriglione and his son, Salvatore Capriglione, who failed to make proper repairs on the dilapidated building or collect rent for months.
Capriglione was absent at the final hearing, but his lawyer made a last-ditch attempt to save him.
“(Capriglione) is now managing the premises properly and…making sure repairs are done,” said Alfred Greenberg, to which Klein replied, “Too little, too late.”
The building is infested with roaches and mice, and has defective doors, broken windows and water leaks. There has been no heat or hot water for weeks at a time.
The building porter, Samuel Almonte, allegedly stabbed Benitez one night, and Almonte was arrested last week for second-degree harassment of other tenants, among other charges.
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