Lower East Side NYCHA residents make 2-mile trip to post office due to broken mailboxes

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Kala Rama reports from the Lower East Side, where broken mailboxes are forcing NYCHA residents to walk two miles to get their mail. (WABC)

Getting the mail is a task most New Yorkers take for granted. But for some residents of two Lower East Side city housing projects, the everyday chore is anything but simple.

Rain or shine, every other day, Santiago Leonardo makes the 20-block trek to the 14th Street Post Office.

"I can't walk that far, but I have to," he said. "Because of my leg."

But he's been doing it anyway for the last few months, waiting for important doctors' notices that never make it to his Avenue D apartment.

That's because residents in two buildings that are part of the Jacob Riis Houses and the Lillian Ward Houses have been without mail since November, when dozens of mailboxes were vandalized.

Residents say they're not getting many answers from the New York City Housing Authority.

"The mailbox is broken," Santiago said. "And I don't know who broke it."

It's the same struggle for Regina Martin, who also makes the two-mile round trip to get her mail. And there's another hurdle: time constraints. Residents can only pick up mail between 11 a.m. And 2 p.m.

"It's very difficult, especially for the people who are disabled, wheelchair," Martin said.

NYCHA could not say when the dozens of mailboxes at the Lillian Ward Houses would be fixed, but the slow process is underway at Jacob Riis. Still, Eyewitness News found that one of the "fixed" mailboxes could be opened by hand.

Related Topics:
postal serviceNYCHAhousingNew York CityLower East Side
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