Brooklyn rent controlled apartment in foreclosure

May 12, 2011 6:55:38 AM PDT
There's a major legal push to help tenants living in deplorable conditions.

The tenants are living in apartment buildings now in foreclosure and essentially neglected because of the dire financial situation.

It has become a nationwide problem.

Without landlords, no one is fixing these rent controlled buildings.

There are crumbling ceilings and floors, and there was little heat or hot water over the winter and the roof has holes in it.

"When it comes in, it's all over the floors," said Yolanda Jimenez, a tenant.

There is black mold, the vents have not worked in years, and in this building at 294 5th Avenue, five of the six tenants are more than 70 years old.

The average monthly rent runs about $200.

Downstairs, a 98-year-old woman in a hospital bed and her son deal with all of these problems.

He showed Eyewitness News a list of the people he has called for help.

"This is New York City, America! This is not supposed to happen," said Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, (D) Brooklyn.

How were these tenants left in foreclosure no man's land?

So, advocates and lawyers with South Brooklyn Legal Services are taking banks and intermediaries to court to fix buildings, in foreclosure now around the city, buildings that are full of people.

"I hope they fix it, I'm not going nowhere," Jimenez said.

There's no comment from the bank involved. The next court date is June 3rd.