NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some Brooklyn residents are caught in the middle as the city battles with the U.S. Postal Service over broken mailboxes.

As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, Mitchell Yates and many of his neighbors at 580 Stanley Ave. in the Linden Houses are not receiving delivery of their mail. It’s blamed on a bank of 24 boxes that has been busted since mid-August after years of neglect, they say.

“l pay my rent, and I’ve got to go through this,” Yates said.

“I’m very angry,” said resident Dorinda Pannell. “This is ridiculous.”

Linden Houses mailboxes

Residents of one building in the Linden Houses say their mailboxes are broken following years of neglect. (credit: CBS2)

Pannell said when she confronted her mail carrier about it, she was told the Postal Service has rules prohibiting them from placing mail in broken boxes.

Residents say picking up their mail at the East New York station on Atlantic Avenue means traveling 10 blocks, and when they get there, the lines are often long.

“I’m not supposed to be there!” Pannell said. “I have a mailbox. My mail should be put in my box.”

CBS2 demanded answers from the New York City Housing Authority, which is in charge of the Linden Houses.

Property Manager Humphrey Smith said the small individual mailbox doors can repaired by his team. But in this case, it’s the entire front panel for the 24 boxes, and that kind of fix is on the feds.

“The Postal Service is the one that provides and installs the master postal lock,” said Smith, adding he only learned of the problem about three weeks ago. “There’s nothing you can do because you have to wait for them to do what they’ve got to do.”

A Postal Service spokesman emailed CBS2 saying contact with building’s management was established weeks ago, but he could not offer a timeline for replacing the master lock and repairing the doors.

The Postal Service also said, in this case, holding the mail at the station is a courtesy and cannot be done as a permanent solution to what it considers a building maintenance issue.


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