Thursday, October 02, 2014

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Brooklyn Residents in Run-Down Building Fed Up With Living Conditions

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Some families in East New York are living in a building so run down that neighbors thought it was uninhabited, and the families say they're now fed up. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

A water leak from the second floor flooded the first floor stairs and hall.

"Water was shooting out from here," said one resident. "It went under here and made the first floor roof fall," said one resident.

That was weeks ago, and now, a gaping hole remains, and no one has cleaned up the debris.

It comes as no surprise to residents of 690 Cleveland Street, where trash piles up in the halls and graffiti lines the walls.

"It was a beautiful building when I moved in," said resident Anissa Hill. "It was renovated. It was beautiful. Nice, cozy."

Hill says that she moved in almost a decade ago but watched the three-story structure fall into disrepair.

"Horrible, because I'm a human being, and I never lived like this before," she said.

Residents say there's no heat, and they say there hasn't been for years, so they use their gas stoves, which officials say can lead to fatal carbon monoxide poisoning. Most are more worried about the cold.

"There's been no heat ever since we've been here, and someone can catch hypothermia," said one resident.

Hot water could help, if they had any water at all. Tenants said that it's been days since the plumbing worked, so they depend on bottled water.

"Pour water into the tank of the toilet and flush it," Hill said. "Yes, with the Poland Spring."

Most say that they're trying to move out, but money is an issue. At least two families say that they stopped paying rent months ago.

The Department of Finance lists the owner of the building as a Raizel Weiser with J&A 1007 Trust. NY1 was unable to reach him for comment.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development says it has spent approximately $155,000 on repairs to the building, which the owner now owes the city.

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