Friday, April 20, 2012

Boarding up a squatter's paradise

From the Times Newsweekly:

City officials are being urged by Community Board 5 to take action to stabilize a vacant multi-family home in Ridgewood which reportedly has fallen into disrepair and poses a safety hazard to neighbors.

The Times Newsweekly was pro vided with a letter sent last Thursday, Apr. 5, by District Manager Gary Giordano to Ira Gluckman, Queens borough commissioner for the De partment of Buildings, requesting that the agency address an “emergency condition” at the vacant dwelling lo cated at 71 07 Fresh Pond Rd.

Giordano stated that a resident liv ing adjacent to the building has reached out to Board 5 on two separate occasions in recent weeks regarding squalid conditions at the abandoned building. Reportedly, part of a rear wall of the structure has been compromised.

It is also believed that the structure is infested with rodents which have subsequently spread into adjoining buildings, the district manager told this paper in a phone interview.

In his letter to Gluckman, Giordano pointed out that the board contacted the DOB previously and were told that “the owner of record has not taken any action to remedy the problem. The [DOB] may forward the case to HPD (Department of Housing Preservation and Development) to contract the work at the owner’s expense.”

The Times Newsweekly contacted the DOB seeking further comment; a spokesperson stated that the HPD is currently in the process of working to seal up the building. Netting will also be installed on the fa├žade to protect neighboring properties from falling debris.

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