Residents and city comptroller describe deplorable conditions at NYCHA’s Clason Point Gardens

Comptroller Scott Stringer observes the issues at Clason Point Houses.
Courtesy Office of the Comptroller

Broken sidewalks and ramps, fallen trees, wildlife issues, roof damage, exterior light problems and mold are among the many issues at the Clason Point Gardens.

On Oct. 19, Comptroller Scott Stringer sent a letter to NYCHA Chair Greg Russ calling on the agency to immediately address multiple failures at the homes in Clason Point.

“While touring the development, I observed broken sidewalks and ramps, damaged roofs, a poorly maintained playground and tree debris and infrastructural damage from Tropical Storm Isaias, which struck New York on Aug. 4,” Stringer said in the letter. “I was told by residents that many of these conditions have existed for years, but were exacerbated by damage from the storm.”

He asked the chair for a written response by Monday, Nov. 2.

Dorothy Febus, Clason Point tenant leader and residents Theresa Wright, Christin Cole and Rosa Rifas spoke with the Bronx Times about the issues.

The women, who have lived and grown up in Clason Point, are disgusted with the state of things at the development.

According to residents, roofs are littered with holes from raccoons and squirrels, buildings are lined with mold, sidewalks are cracked, front yards are not maintained by management and barely any repairs get done. In fact, one tree fell on a home after a storm and sat there for three months.

In the past, management knew the people who lived there and living conditions were better.

“Managers sit in their office all day and they don’t even know their tenants,” Febus said.

The tenant leader explained that the moisture in the ceiling was so bad that part of it collapsed near her head.

There were also issues with the tiles in her shower wearing away, so she replaced some on her own. But since they are different than the original ones, NYCHA will not do any more work.

She noted that lighting often does not work in front of people’s homes and even recently, a shed was flipped upside down during a storm and still remains unfixed.

“We are neglected. Clason Point essentially does not exist,” she stressed.

Cole explained that the raccoons are not just outside but often get into homes, especially if people do not have screens in their windows. They were told unless they capture an animal, the ASPCA will not come.

Whether it’s trees that need to be cut or shabby yards that are not maintained, Cole said that the homes lack the necessary upkeep for a proper standard of living.

“No one listens. It’s like talking to deaf ears,” Cole said. “They’re quick to remind you it’s not yours, but they don’t do anything to help you.”

Wright, who has been there for 62 years, is fed up with the lack of responsibility the management has.

According to Wright, it used to be a nice friendly area for military families, but now it seems everything is falling apart and no one cares.

“They don’t have enough maintenance here,” she said. “I think they undervalue us because it’s public housing.”

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