Tenants report rain pouring through Morris Heights building that partially collapsed in 2023

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, March 24, 2024
Videos shows rain pouring into partially collapsed Bronx building
Sonia Rincon has the latest including tenant's reaction.

MORRIS HEIGHTS, The Bronx (WABC) -- Tenants at a Morris Heights building that partially collapsed in 2023 reported water leaking through the ceiling lights during Saturday's heavy downpour.

The Legal Aid Society released the footage from the building at 1915 Billingsley Terrace, showing rainfall pouring through the lights in the lobby.

Tenants are now concerned that this could lead to another collapse or electrical fire.

"It was raining a lot yesterday, so my son came upstairs and said, 'Mom did you see the video I sent you' and I said no, what video? And he said it's pouring in the lobby!" said resident Jacqueline Tomlinson.

"When I opened the closet, the water was just pouring down. I came down, An elderly lady was trying to sweep the water out."

According to the group, tenants on the sixth floor also reported severe flooding.

"Despite all of the scrutiny that the landlord has had, there isn't this sense of real urgency to fix this building and make it so that these major problems are not occurring," said Jessica Bellinder, Supervising Attorney with the Housing Justice Unit - Group Advocacy at The Legal Aid Society in a statement. "And it's our contention that the reason these problems are occurring is because they've allowed the building to deteriorate for so long."

NYC Dept. of Buildings inspected the building Saturday night and found water leaking from the ceiling in the lobby and water damage inside of a sixth-floor apartment closet, but stated there were no other unsafe conditions.

DOB issued the landlord a violation for failure to maintain the building. This comes after the 2023 collapse, Investigators had found engineers "misdiagnosed" a loose bearing column as decorative leading to the Dec. 11 collapse.

The Legal Aid Society has already sued the building owners to make these apartments safe again as quickly as possible. The organization is also urging the city to do its part and use all of its enforcement power to hold the landlords accountable for their responsibilities to provide safe housing, Legal Aid says the tenants here now who have been back since the collapse are paying rent.

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