Saturday, April 16, 2016

Over Three Dozen Tenants In Aging 99-Unit South Bronx Apartment Building Tag "City's Worst Landlord" w/ Lawsuit Demanding Livable Conditions, Clearance Of Over 500 Active Housing Violations

In The Bronx, New York, the New York Daily News reports:
  • Inside a building on the Grand Concourse blocks from Yankee Stadium, Rico Moreno hears rats scratching at his rotting bathroom tiles when he tries to take a shower.

    Upstairs, Laura Bordas and her mother, Miguelina Fana, are forced to cook dinner on hot plates. The building’s stoves have not worked for weeks, ever since the laundry room in the basement caved in and authorities cut off the building’s gas line.

    Now, those tenants are among 38 Bronx neighbors who have filed suit against building owner Ved Parkash for failing to correct a laundry list of horrid conditions, the Daily News has learned.

    In papers filed in Bronx Housing Court, the tenants say that their homes at 750 Grand Concourse have deteriorated since Parkash — named by the public advocate’s office in November as the “City’s Worst Landlord” — took the deed 20 years ago.

    The tenants hope a judge will order Parkash — scheduled to appear in court [] for the first time — to fix more than 500 active city Housing Preservation and Department Department violations, or face fines and possible imprisonment.
    The current violations count at the prewar, 99-unit elevator building is 516, city records show.

    Unlivable conditions include lack of hot water and cooking gas, peeling ceilings and reports of lead paint.
    A lawyer for the tenants said there was no excuse for the decrepit conditions.

    “These violations exist, and they have to be corrected,” said Keriann Pauls of the Urban Justice Center, which is representing the residents with the help of tenant rights group CASA New Settlement.

    “There’s no excuse for them to say, ‘We don’t have to do this.’ ”

    The fixes could not come soon enough for Moreno, 32, who has resorted to sticking rat traps into his shower tiles to keep the rodents at bay.

    Over time, it will mold up,” he told The News during a recent visit. “But it’s better than having the rats come in.”

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