BY Jeff Wilkins
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Friday, February 26th 2010
Tenants of the Bed-Stuy Rehabs, a three-building complex on Willoughby and Throop Aves., filed a lawsuit against the city Housing Authority in December after living with the conditions since the 1980s.
“We’re tired of being treated like NYCHA’s foster children,” said Cassandra Harrell, president of the Bed-Stuy Rehabs Tenant Association, who said years of living in her mold-filled apartment left her stricken with asthma. “We want our apartments fixed.”
The three small buildings with 81 apartments were originally part of Woodhull Hospital, and were converted into public housing in 1983.
Right from the start, said longtime tenants, their apartments had problems. They said Housing Authority officials promised fixes that were never made.
If the work is done, they added, it’s shoddy or takes a long time to get scheduled.
In one case, a tenant at 281 Throop Ave. said workers showed up as late as 9 p.m. to repair a collapsed ceiling.
“Every time they say they’re going to fix something, they don’t do anything,” said Luisa Figueroa, 33, pointing to a hole in her wall that isn’t scheduled to be repaired until June. “It’s just talk, talk, talk.”
Retired postal worker Kathleen Green, who has lived at 675 Willoughby Ave. since 1983, has gone without heat three or four days at a time for years.
“It gets really cold in here in the winter, like you’re living outside,” she said. “I wake up and turn my oven on at 6 a.m. just to get some heat.”
Green said she has phoned in countless complaints. Workers have come and looked at her radiators, promised to send someone to make repairs – and rarely do.
“Ten years ago, I gave them a list of all my problems,” said Green. “Ten years later, they’re still not fixed.”
Housing Authority spokeswoman Sheila Stainback denied the agency had neglected the buildings, and said they have repeatedly responded to tenants’ requests for repairs.
“NYCHA staff has addressed and worked on the repairs needed for Bedford-Stuyvesant Rehabs and will continue to do so,” Stainback said in a statement.
Residents of 281 Throop Ave. used a lawsuit to force the Housing Authority to repair the building’s leaky roof in 2005.
Political Action Committee – National Apartment Association (NAA) files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry
“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer
Information on Riverstone Residential, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the owners of Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana continuing to allow tenants to be exposed to extreme amounts of mold toxins