A Queens family had been living in unsafe conditions. They claim it was brought about by the city’s failure to use tens of thousands of dollars in federal money to make major structural repairs to their house. Now the city is paying its debt after the family turned to NY1 For You for help. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following report.
Alejandro Rios says he hardly recognizes the house he grew up in.
"We have an actual hole where I’m looking up right now and I can see outside," he says. "It’s so messed up that we gotta deal with these conditions."
Broken ceilings, faulty electrical wiring and a rotting roof. They're dangerous conditions that make the house in shambles, practically unlivable.
As bad as the inside of the house is, the outside is even worse. It's literally falling apart.
Rios says his mother, Alissa Host, has rented the house from NYCHA for almost 40 years. He says while she pays for rent and utilities, the city is responsible for the structural maintenance of the property, critical maintenance work that Rios and his mom, who is currently recuperating from major surgery, have fought to get for years.
Last August, a judge ordered the city to grant the mother and son nearly $90,000 worth of repairs. A year after the ruling, there was no sign of visible work to the house.
"Nothing’s been done," he says.
NY1 contacted NYCHA about the situation and a spokeswoman said she couldn’t discuss the case due to confidentiality.
However, within days of our inquiries, a NYCHA representative visited the house and had workers start repairs immediately.
"They’ve done the roof so far, they’re doing the shingles on the sides and they’re doing the bathroom, the ceiling," Rios says. "They promised a whole new renovation, which we were entitled to."
While it remains a work in progress, Rios hopes to have the house fixed for his mother's homecoming.