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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Recently From The Frontline


Who: Senior Citizen -- 85 years old

What: Entire 2nd floor apartment flooded and overcome with mold after no repairs made for more than 2 months during the summer of 2007.

When: This very determined senior could no longer live under these deplorable conditions when he finally found Strycker’s Bay Neighborhood Council.

Where: The senior tenant is from West 110th Street and has lived in the same building for 50 years.

Strycker’s Bay Advocate Hours Involved: 50+

The Story: Elderly man overwhelmed with the unlivable conditions of his apartment during 90 degree weather in July 2007.

Every room had been completely damaged by a cascading flood which collapsed all ceilings in the apartment and ruined all furniture, clothing and personal belongings, including decades of original art work by the tenant and his music collection. The tenant had to temporarily leave the apartment having to find temporary housing for his cat and bird.

The building’s landlord delayed repairs to the apartment and did so with no penalty except the tenant is not required to pay his monthly rent of $459. The tenant was not offered any relocation expenses or alternative living accommodations.

Strycker’s Bay has coordinated with on other organization, assistance to this determined and head strong tenant in housing court and helped with the coordination of packing and removing his belongings to facilitate repairs. The landlord offered no assistance in this area.

Safety Net Services Missing: A city’s safety net should have a unit within the Department for the Aged whose responsibility it is to insure that emergency repairs for seniors are made immediately by the landlord or severe fines will be imposed. In this case, the landlord has taken his time, more than six months, while this senior has lived in group accommodations. Being uprooted from his home has cause this tenant stress which has affected his health and well-being. He is currently in a nursing home due to a hip injury, he would have been able to return home and receive home care from a home health aid if the landlord had made repairs to his apartment promptly. We wonder if this tenant was paying $3,000 a month for rent if apartment repairs would have been delayed for six months.

Strycker’s Bay has intervened in this case without the assistance of an attorney. This is a profile, of a typical housing problem our tenant advocates are involved in every day.

If you or someone you know, regardless of age, is facing eviction, needs apartment repairs or other information about your tenant rights, please contact Strycker's Bay Neighborhood Council at 212-874-7272. You can also visit out website for more information www.stryckersbay.org


If you live in our service area we will either advise you over the phone or make an appointment to see you. If you live outside of our service area, we will be happy to direct you to an organization that will be able to assist you.

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