Bronx building tenants sue management, citing broken down elevator, apartments full of lead

ByAnthony Carlo WABC logo
Thursday, February 29, 2024
Residents rally over squalid conditions in building with 178 violations
Anthony Carlo has the story.

MOUNT EDEN, The Bronx (WABC) -- Residents at an apartment building in the Bronx say they are fed up with building management, claiming it has neglected nearly 200 open violations, including an often-broken elevator and apartments full of lead.

The exposed walls and piles of debris in some apartments, caused by a recent fire in a Bronx building, is just the latest misfortune for tenants.

Displaced tenant Claudiesther Lopez came back to look at her now unlivable second floor apartment, only to realize it was never a home for her 1-year-old daughter.

"They had an inspector, by the city to come and do an inspection, come into the apartment and test for lead," said Sheila Garcia of Community Action for Safe Apartments. "Took about an hour, and the inspector came back and said the lead levels were really high."

Lopez said it's dangerous for her daughter.

Her torment is shared by many tenants at 115 East 169th St., who are tired of staying quiet.

The building has 178 open violations, according to New York City Housing Preservation and Development. Many of them are detailed in a court complaint filed in January on behalf of tenants who are now suing.

"The only time Denali Management contacts them, is when they want the rent, but when it comes time to fixing the elevators, the rats, the roaches - they're unavailable. They're ghosted," said Douglas Henderson Jr. of Bronx Legal Services.

The elevator is working now, but one of the biggest complaints Eyewitness News has heard is how often it is not working. At one point it was down for an entire month, which makes it especially difficult for tenants with disabilities.

Glennys Abreu has had to climb more than 115 steps with heart issues, asthma and apparently - no one to care.

The fire on Feb. 11 that displaced eight of the building's 37 units, was caused by an electrical issue and deemed "accidental" by fire marshals. But the history of negligence, tenants say, is not.

One woman, who just came out of the hospital, is not fit for a shelter her husband says, so they wait on repairs.

"It's kind of tough. In this situation. I'm tied up," tenant Francisco Lopez said.

Eyewitness News reporter Anthony Carlo has made numerous attempts to reach building management by phone and email.


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