Residents at 1777 Grand Concourse are in the midst of the holiday season with no gas in their apartments.
The residents held a press conference on Wednesday, Novembre 23 outside the, 12-story, 167-unit building to bring attention to the situation in addition to decrying other problems as well.
On June 3, Con Edison shut down the gas in the buildings due to reports of a high gas concentration in a portion of the building.
The gas has not been turned on since.
Instead, management provided residents a hot plate on which to cook their meals.
However, according to Kim Osorio, a 34-year resident of the building, many of the hot plates have broken down and residents have had to turn to other cooking methods.
For example, some residents are using electric convection ovens and crock pots to cook food.
Osorio said she has stayed away from the hot plates because they can cause electrical fires.
In addition, she said she has spent a great deal of money on takeout and restaurant food.
Osorio claims the landlord, Asden Properties, continues to rent apartments without notifying prospective tenants that there is no cooking gas available in the building.
A member of Asden properties was not available to respond to the charge.
Besides the lack of gas, Osorio said there has been problems with the elevators, rampant vermin, security and water leaks.
She said squatters have been sleeping in the stairwells at night because the building is accessible.
Also, one of the building’s two elevators were out for approximately seven weeks between the months of August and September.
During that time, said Osorio, the other elevator would occasionally malfunction.
In addition, the building also has an infestation problem with rats and roaches.
She also discussed and provided pictures of water damage to her apartment.
She said there have been nights when it rained and water comes into her bedroom.
“I was having my own personal rain storm in the apartment,” she said. “I mean it was really pouring. I had to videotape it because it was coming down so hard.”
The residents at 1777 Grand Concourse are now getting help from Community Action for Safe Apartments – or CASA – and Bronx Legal Services.
Yeraldi Perez, a community organizer for CASA, said the organization had its first meeting with the frustrated residents on Wednesday, November 9.
In addition the organization had been going door-to-door in weeks prior to personally hear from residents about their issues.
According to Perez, tenants filed in August their first NYC Housing Preservation petition in housing court with the help of Bronx Legal Services and their first court date was on September 1.
The case, which 46 tenants have signed on to, calls for restoration of gas to the building and asks for repairs to many of the building’s on-going problems.
The next court date is Monday, December 19.
Also, Perez said the tenants sent a certified letter asking the landlord to fix the deficiencies.
The organization plans to have another meeting with tenants to establish their next moves.