From SI Live:
Tamika Haney, 35, is no longer sure who owns the two-and-a-half-story house at 151 Hendricks Ave. in New Brighton, where she lives on the second floor with her nine children, ranging in age from 1 to 19 years old.
She moved there in April 2005 from a shelter in Brooklyn. She said, “The city gave me a list of apartments, and this was one of them.”
Over the past five years, conditions in the house have deteriorated significantly.
“The basement is filled with raw sewage,” Ms. Haney said. “The smell is horrible, and my kids and I are breathing in this stuff.
“There are holes in the ceiling and floor, and squirrels come inside. I don’t have an oven — it’s been broken for four years. The kitchen sink doesn’t work — I have to wash my dishes in the bathroom tub.”
The city’s Department of Finance lists the building’s owner as Angelito Chuakay, who has a mailing address in Secaucus, N.J. Ms. Haney confirmed he was her landlord, but said he and his wife, Aurea, have not returned any of her telephone calls recently.
Public records of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) show 119 open violations at 151 Hendricks Ave., 96 of them listed as Class B, meaning hazardous.
An HPD inspection last month documented a collapsing ceiling in Ms. Haney’s living room, a hole in the kitchen ceiling, a broken pipe in the kitchen sink, vermin throughout the apartment and raw sewage in the basement, among other violations.
An earlier inspection in August found exposed electrical wiring, a sagging bathroom floor and doors that created rooms within bedrooms.
When an HPD inspector visited the building in March, flies, roaches and mice were noted throughout the building; electrical wiring was exposed in the basement; there was a leaking pipe in Ms. Haney’s kitchen, and no smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, as required by law.
She is also concerned that the building may have been illegally converted from a one-family to a two-family house. “On the first floor, there’s just a piece of sheetrock that separates the downstairs apartment from the upstairs,” she said.
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