Though the backlog for repairs at New York City Housing Authority buildings is long, one Lower East Side family's badly dilapidated and dangerous bathroom seems to finally be getting fixed. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
No back wall, badly peeling paint, mildew, no sink and an unstable toilet comprise the bathroom Janai Williams and her five children have been dealing with since May in their Baruch Houses apartment.
Williams says she told the City Housing Authority for years that her bathroom was leaking.
They came in May and ripped out the sink and parts of the wall, but they left it in an unfinished condition.
There are problems in her living room too, where an outlet is dangerously exposed, and the walls are peeling.
Her children brush their teeth in the kitchen.
Beyond the inconvenience, Williams says this is a major health hazard.
"No one should have to live in conditions like this, and let alone with children," Williams said. "That's endangering the welfare of a child."
"When you take a shower, and the water wets the wall, it goes down in the shower and everything when you washing, and that's just nasty," said Williams' daughter Lajanai Spurgeon.
The bathroom is not just a problem for Williams, however, as the water leaks through into her downstairs neighbor's apartment.
Williams withheld her rent, but housing court ultimately ordered her to pay under threat of eviction, though she says the court also ordered the housing authority to make the repairs.
"I paid them $3,500 dollars out of my pocket and still no repairs," Williams said.
Initially, she says, the City Housing Authority told her she was on the list to have those repairs made in November of next year.
"You tell me you backed up, backed up, backed up, but if one of my children get hurt then what?" Williams said.
After NY1 got involved, the City Housing Authority visited her apartment on Tuesday and immediately started making repairs to the toilet.
Williams says they told her they'll work on all the repairs in the coming weeks, something she says she can't wait to see.