Tenants demand new elevators

Tenants at the Boston Secor Houses met on Wednesday, June 17 to discuss the development’s dilapidated elevators. A top NYCHA elevator team is at work, spokesman Howard Marder said. Photo by Daniel Beekman
The Boston Secor Houses.

You’re 16 years old. You enter a tower at the Boston Secor Houses in Baychester. You hit the “UP” elevator button and wait…and wait and wait. You laugh. You play fight. You chat. When the elevator finally comes, so do the police. You’re handed a summons. You loitered.

Life is frustrating at Boston Secor, where elevators break and malfunction day after day. The New York City Housing Authority development is home to scores of seniors, disabled adults and children. On Wednesday, June 17, a hundred frustrated Boston Secor tenants attended an evening meeting; NYCHA representatives also attended. The Boston Secor Houses consist of four towers – 538 apartments – on Bivona Street near Boston Road.

“The elevators don’t work,” said Emma Miller, president of the Boston Secor Tenants Association. “We have tenants in wheelchairs who are prisoners at home.”

JN uses a walker. She moved to Boston Secor when the development opened in 1969. Although JN is asthmatic and diabetic, she often climbs the stairs to her apartment. On June 18, an elevator stopped at her floor. JN kept her distance.

“It was bouncing,” she said.

There has been an increase in elevator vandalism at Boston Secor, NYCHA spokesman Howard Marder said. NYCHA has installed clandestine cameras to help police identify the perpetrators; one arrest has been made. Boston Secor has eight elevators. The last elevator renovation at Boston Secor was completed in 1994. Elevator problems at Boston Secor are also related to ongoing safety improvements, Marder said. Following the death in Brooklyn, NYCHA decided to install door restrictors on all elevators.

It will cost more than $3 million to replace the elevators at Boston Secor. According to Marder, new elevators will appear “in a future annual plan.”

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