Many of the thousands of residents who call Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village their home are still struggling in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and they say it's time for their landlord to do something about it. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Three-and-a-half months after Hurricane Sandy, the basements at many Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town buildings remain boarded up, unusable and guarded by security.
They used to house each building's laundry room and storage, but those are still out of service. Some buildings' intercom systems also are still not operational.
The tenants' association's leaders called these basic services.
"Essential services that are part of their basic lease, and we believe they shouldn't be paying for things that they don't have," said Susan Steinberg, the chair of the tenants' association.
City Councilman Dan Garodnick, a resident of the complex himself, said he's been told that 15 of the buildings will be without laundry services until September.
The buildings most in need of repair sit only feet from the East River and were ravaged in the storm.
While residents said they understand that certain repairs will take time, they're submitting applications with the state this week for rent reductions.
"A lot of what the tenants are saying to us is that, 'We've contacted management. We've been to the office. We've called. We don't get any response,'" said Margaret Salacan, a board member of the tenants' association.
"There's a lot of things that people right now are paying for in their leases but they're not getting as services, and they shouldn't be paying for those," Garodnick said.
Garodnick is hoping that rents could be reduced significantly, but didn't give a specific amount of reduction.
Residents previously received an abatement in December for their days spent without heat, hot water and power.
The state's Housing and Community Renewal agency will decide if a rent reduction is warranted and how much it would be.
"If anyone is going to bear the cost of services that are not being offered, it should be the landlord and not the tenants," Garodnick said.
The management of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town said that they've already given $6.7 million worth of abatements and said they are doing their best to make life easier for residents still inconvenienced. They asked for patience as repairs continue.