Residents at a building are making progress in working with their landlord to rectify quality-of-life and safety concerns.
Tenants at 2985-87 Webster Avenue, part of a trio of buildings known as Bedford Park Manor, met with representatives from their landlord, The Stagg Group, to discuss how to correct a multitude of issues – from missing safety cameras to the property’s overall cleanliness.
The third building, 2999 Webster Avenue, didn’t participate in the talks.
Several tenants that the Bronx Times spoke to cited a variety of issues in their building, including neighbors harassing neighbors, roach infestation near incinerators, water-damaged ceilings, squatters who were living in the basement of 2985 Webster Avenue, and the lack of building vestibule locks at 2985.
Zxavier Simpson, 2985 Tenant Association president, said that he has witnessed an ongoing downward spiral in the building since it first opened three to four years ago. He is one of the original tenants.
Oswald Feliz, a housing lawyer, represented the tenants at the meeting on Friday, March 1 inside 2987 Webster Avenue, and believes that progress was made.
“I think everyone wants to solve the problems and for that reason I am very hopeful we are going to make quick progress,” said Feliz, adding “I am sure that we are going to be able quickly resolve the issues now that we have all the parties at the table and on the same page.”
Michael Brabazon, marking and communications director for Stagg, said that the as many as eight tenants spoke during the meeting about their concerns.
One situation involved the elevators that do not function when fire or smoke is detected. Management explained that the system is designed to shut down in those instances.
Feliz said that tenants brought up concerns including residents calling the management office to schedule access to apartments for repair crews that never arrived and the broken security cameras which were recently repaired at 2987.
“It seems like the security cameras broke and took a long time to be replaced, and the tenants said they want more installed, especially in stairways,” said Feliz, who is also the Democratic Party’s 78th Assembly District State Committeeman.
Feliz said the landlord appears to be listening and they plan to meet again in early April to talk about the issues further.
Feliz also said that as of the March 1 meeting, there weren’t live-in superintendents at the pair of buildings, but he expects that this could change shortly.
Brabazon said that The Stagg Group and its firm Five Star Management sent three representatives to tthe enant meeting.
“We wanted to be there,” he said. “We felt it was the right thing to do and we wanted to hear what they had to say.”
Some of the discussed topics, such as the security cameras not working, were rectified, said Brabazon.
Additionally, the company is in the process of launching an online portal where tenants can make maintenance requests, he said.
Brabazon said that he did not want to see ‘an us vs. them’ feeling develop between the tenants and management.
In a statement, Senator Jamaal Bailey, said that it was unfortunate that tenants had to endure substandard infrastructure and lack of superintendent attention for a significant amount of time and that he was willing to work with the tenants and landlord to find solutions.