Elderly and disabled residents in a Brooklyn apartment building who have been without a working elevator for nearly a month say they feel like prisoners in their own homes. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.
At age 81, Faina Zaltsman recently had the scare of her life, when she needed to go to the hospital but couldn't get down from her fifth-floor apartment because of a broken elevator.
"I use a walker and without the walker I cannot walk," says Zaltsman.
No stranger to suffering, the Holocaust survivor who lost her son in the September 11th attacks had to be carried down five flights of stairs by rescue workers. Zaltsman and a number of elderly and disabled tenants have been trapped in 7714 Bay Parkway, a building in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, since the beginning of May.
"I have to go downstairs shopping, I have to ask strange people, I have to give them five dollars every time they bring up my shopping cart and I have to walk five flights of stairs," says tenant Claire Kassel.
"To get up the four flights of stairs takes me about a half an hour, so we only go out once a day because we have to go to the doctor's or we have to go out to get some food and it's very difficult," says tenant Eugene Spagnoli.
It's impossible for some, like one 73-year-old tenant who uses a wheelchair and has not left his apartment in over three weeks, missing essential doctor appointments.
Tenants say shockingly, their landlord refuses to respond to them.
"I think it's wrong because if we don't pay our rent he can dispossess us. He don't provide us with services, what recourse do we have? We have to hire a lawyer," Spagnoli says.
NY1 For You called the landlord as well but has not heard back.
The station also called the Department Of Buildings about 7714 Bay Parkway, and a spokeswoman said the elevator was inspected and an Environmental Control Board (ECB) violation was issued for a non-working elevator at the property.
She went on to say the property has been flagged as a repeat offender by the DOB and elevator service will be monitored closely.
Meanwhile, as residents wait nervously for a lift, they appeal to the city to take action. NY1 For You will continue to follow this situation.