'They treat us like animals': NYCHA residents call on city for change

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ByDan Krauth via WABC logo
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
'They treat us like animals': NYCHA residents call on city for change
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Protesters at City Hall called on the mayor and for NYCHA to improve its repair process and how it maintains the city's aging government housing. Dan Krauth has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Sheranne White, who lives in Jacob Riis Houses on the Lower East Side says she's been waiting for repairs to be made to her bathroom for more than two years.

"This is not humane, nobody should have to live like this," said White. "Nobody deserves to live like this, like animals."

She's one of many people who showed up Tuesday on the steps of City Hall to rally against the City of New York. They're calling on the mayor and for NYCHA to improve its repair process and how it maintains the city's aging government housing.

From cracked plaster, to mold, to not having any heat, tenants said something needs to be done now.

'We have a lot of leaks in our building, because the pipes are old and the water just trickles down," said Terry Campuzano.

"We the tenants who are here pay our rent, follow the rules and can't get no help," said White.

Tenants were joined by some city and state leaders who are calling for immediate changes.

"They put in ticket after ticket and nothing happens or someone will show up to the apartment, maybe take a couple pictures and there are no repairs to follow," said Councilmember Carlina Rivera. " So it is really smoke and mirrors."

Rivera said more than 70,000 apartments are in need of multiple repairs and many tenants are waiting months.

"Nothing is being fixed, so they're closing tickets without fixing anything," said Riis tenant Daphne Williams.

Rivera said they want three things form the city: repairs made in a timely fashion, for the city to bundle together some of the maintenance work so they can get repairs done on a larger scale, and to test the water regularly.

In response, a NYCHA spokesperson sent the following statement:

"Since 2019, NYCHA has fundamentally transformed its business model, compliance, operations and management infrastructure. However, these deteriorating buildings are the direct result of decades of disinvestment by all levels of government and they require $40 billion in capital investment to effectively repair. We will continue working with our City, State and Federal partners on solutions to improve our work and quality of life for our residents."

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