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New Owner To Rehabilitate Former Milbank Houses In The Bronx

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One of the former Milbank houses at 2785 Sedgwick Avenue. (credit: Google Street View)

One of the former Milbank houses at 2785 Sedgwick Avenue. (credit: Google Street View)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — City officials announced a new agreement Tuesday that will remedy what they called “deplorable” living conditions at a Bronx housing complex.

The improvements being currently made will affect more than 1,000 residents of the former Milbank houses in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx. Finkelstein Timberger LLC and its principal, Steven Finkelstein, have agreed to pay $27.75 million for the 10 buildings.

“They’re fixing windows, re-plastering damaged walls, replacing lose masonry — that work is already making the apartments here safer, dryer and more comfortable,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said to applause.

Juan Nunez spoke with 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Tuesday and explained what conditions were like under the old landlord.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks speaks with tenants about the conditions

“Oh, it’s horrible. I spent probably the entire 2006 without heat or hot water. We also had a leak from the tub that kept coming up everyday out of the tub that would flood the entire apartment up,” he said.

Another resident also painted a grim picture of the previous regime.

“There is no walls, there is no floors, there is no ceilings. We don’t have doors, we don’t have sufficient windows. Thank God we don’t have a lot of mice, but…it has deteriorated so much to the point where you don’t even want to walk in the doors anymore,” she said.

In addition to rehabilitating the buildings, the new owners plan to keep them affordable for the current tenants.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said the agreement marked a fresh start for tenants who were long treated “like second-class citizens in their own homes.”

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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