Today’s news:

SRO Shut Down

In the Zerega community, a two-family home that was turned into Single Room Occupancy units is being shut down.

The home, located at 2354 Lyon Avenue, between Parker Street and Zerega Avenue has neighbors up-in-arms over its affects on the block’s quality of life.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca stepped up to the plate, and intervened with the Department of Buildings, notifying the agency of the hazardous situation the tenants of the illegal apartments faced on a daily basis.

“In the Zerega community, I am becoming increasingly concerned with the large concentration of SROs,” said Vacca. “People have to understand that if you have a two- or three-family house, it is not meant to house eight families.”

Vacca cited the potential for a firetrap, and feels the house could be disastrous for those poor souls who can only afford so much in rent.

“The Department of Buildings is issuing a vacate order for 2354 Lyon Avenue,” said a spokesman for Vacca. “While we hate to see anyone thrown out onto the street, in this case, the building is so unsafe and it is so detrimental to the surrounding area, there isn’t any other choice.”

One resident of the block, who was active in advocating for the removal of the SRO, said that over the last two or three years the situation at the house has progressively worsened. The resident spoke on the condition of anonymity, because of fears of reprisal from some of the people, many regarded as thugs, who are occupying the rooms, as well as from the absentee landlord.

“The landlord is nowhere to be found. Everyone is tired of complaining to him. The tenants have very odd habits, that are out of step with the hard-working homeowners in the area,” said the Lyon Avenue resident. “At first, it was just that they were rough. But then it came to drug activity in the house. I think that drugs were sold from the house.”

The resident said that he felt that the block’s homeowners, who are trying to raise their own families, need to fight back.

“It was either move or fight. I was not at the point in my life where I thought I could move, so I decided to get in touch with Councilman Vacca, and get something done,” the neighbor noted. “We could smell the marijuana smoke coming into our backyards from the house. This SRO was destroying our life and the property values of our homes.”

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