Leaks, mold plague Tompkins Houses in Brooklyn; NYCHA apologizes

Stacey Sager Image
Friday, August 26, 2016
Leaks, mold plague Tompkins Houses in Brooklyn; NYCHA apologizes
Stacey Sager has the latest details.

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The New York City Housing Authority apologized to residents of a Brooklyn complex who are living in deplorable conditions, dealing with everything from leaks to mold.

The situation at the Tompkins Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant is so bad that one 13-year-old boy reached out for help on behalf of his mom after a pipe burst, leaving a gash in the ceiling.

The water, they say, flowed for two weeks before a plumber finally fixed it.

Now, NYCHA officials are calling it unacceptable and have responded to make repairs. The family of 11 also received a new stove, but other residents are also having problems. And it all became apparent when Assa Diaby's 13-year-old Kaourou Gary spoke out. He went to management himself to complain because his mother was feeling hopeless.

"Before we even moved in, they said they were going to fix it," he said. "They never sent someone until (Wednesday). They said they're going to send someone (Thursday) to fix the walls, but no one ever came."

Diaby was desperate, and Gary stepped up.

"They didn't want to do nothing," she said. "So I needed help, and my son called yesterday."

The kids also managed to locate some community activists, who called the media. And with cameras rolling, they described the smell of mold, the flies, the rotting sink and the stove on which they could no longer cook.

"I will be your voice," community activist Karen Cherry told them. "I promise you. You understand me?"

And as word got out, NYCHA management showed up and got to work.

"We're doing our best today," Tompkins Houses building manager Michael Jones said. "We're going to make sure the things you are concerned are addressed, that we talked about going forward."

Workers were also working on the sinks and bathrooms, cleaning up the mold problem.

"We deeply apologize for the impact this had on the family," NYCHA said in a statement. "And are working to prevent this from happening again."