Fed-up tenants of the Queensbridge Houses sued the New York City Housing Authority on Tuesday, citing hazardous conditions in the nation’s largest public housing complex and what they describe as illegal harassment.
Pamela Wheeler, 72, and Marilyn Keller, 58, are among 11 plaintiffs named in two lawsuits — one representing residents of the complex’s northern section, the other representing its southern section — filed in Queens Housing Court.
The suits come after years — and for some residents, decades — of complaints about quality-of-life issues in their homes, including asbestos, lead, mold, severe leaking and flooding, vermin, and other biohazards.
“I am tired of living with mice, roaches, waterbugs, lack of heat, holes in my walls and sink, waterlogged and rotting cabinets, and many more repair issues that are a threat to my health and safety and an affront to my dignity,” said Wheeler at a press conference.
Keller, abreast cancer survivor who suffers chronic health issues, described exposed electrical wiring, a broken radiator, rotted kitchen cabinets, and a broken door in her apartment she said frequently gets jammed.
Her calls to NYCHA rarely, if ever, result in action, Keller says.
“Any type of repairs that need to be done in my house — I have to wait forever to get them done,” said Keller. “I put the ticket in. Then NYCHA calls me back to tell me the date they are coming.
“So, I prepare for the appointment, take everything out of the closet and cabinets, and ask for the day off work. But then they never come. They are a bunch of no-shows.”
The plaintiffs further allege the city’s trouble-plagued housing authority declines to make repairs in the hope that the Queensbridge Houses can be handed over to “private entities who would receive federal money in exchange for their agreement to keep the units affordable” under federal housing regulations and laws.
The “private entities” could be for-profit companies, or new government entities, the lawsuit says. In any case, the lawsuit says, it’s not clear that handing the project to new public or private managers “will benefit low-income renters more than it will harm them.”
So they don't care much about the new basketball court de Blasio's NYPD built there?