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NYC Tenants Sue Banks To Force Repairs At Foreclosed Apartment Buildings

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(credit: Stan Brooks, 1010 WINS)

(credit: Stan Brooks, 1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Elected officials took aim at some of the largest banks in New York City Monday blaming them for failing to make repairs on on foreclosed apartment buildings for which they hold mortgages.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn insisted that the banks must take responsibility for the buildings, saying that officials will “hold the banks accountable” by passing legislation in addition to the lawsuit being filed by tenants.

“If they didn’t want to be the landlords, they shouldn’t have given the bad loans. You break it, you buy it. You give the loan, you own it,” Quinn said to the applause of tenants.

In most of the six apartments, the floors are coming up and the ceilings are coming down. Electricity is on in only some of the building.

Marta Rivera, 71, told CBS 2’s John Slattery of the many problems experienced by residents of her building.

“The heat, the water…roaches, a lot of mice,” she said.

Rivera has lived in the apartment on 5th Avenue in Park Slope for 45 years under rent control, paying $149 a month.

“There’s no heat, no hot water during the winter. The roof is collapsing,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Hears From Council Speaker Christine Quinn

Others also talked talk about the infestation of rats and roaches in their homes. Evelyn Phillips explained that the ceiling in her apartment had caved in and made the problem worse.

“The whole building was open where giants rats has come into our building and my house is infested with roaches,” she said.

Quinn reiterated her call for the banks to step up and make the repairs, saying she and other officials would engage the Financial Disputes Resolution Commission (FDRC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

“I’ll tell you who the real rat in this deal is right now, it’s the banks,” Quinn said.

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