NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman in a Harlem NYCHA building says she woke up to a waterfall inside her own apartment on Tuesday.
Margie Beltran’s reality is the latest in a never ending nightmare for people living in the city’s public housing.
“It just starts overflowing, continuously,” she said. “The basement is flooded, so I get the back draft. Every time. this is not the first incident of a flood here. This is the first severe one.”
The sink in her first floor apartment inside the Thomas Jefferson Houses started overflowing sporadically Tuesday morning, but then overflowed consistently for more than four hours. There were at least two inches of standing water, which left a water line on the items left on Beltran’s floor after the flood receded.
The ordeal caused thousands of dollars in water damage. Beltran says she called NYCHA around 5 p.m. Monday, when the water first started bubbling from the sink. Workers didn’t show up until late Tuesday morning. Even then, they vacuumed up some of the water and left.
CBS2 reached out to the housing authority, but didn’t immediately hear back. Beltran says the response was no more than “a temporary band aid” for the apartment she’s lived in for the last 11 years with her twin 18-year-old daughters, both of whom have cerebral palsy.
Beltran, like many, says NYCHA has always been slow to respond to her complaints.
“I just think because we live in public housing, in NYCHA, they just don’t care about us,” Beltran said. “If we lived in the ritzy, I guess we’ll get more attention.”
“This was a very productive meeting with Secretary Carson,” de Blasio said. “I want to affirm he has put a lot of time and energy into discussing how we can address the issues of the New York City Housing Authority.”
Beltran says she’d be in favor of a federal takeover.
“If they’re gonna do a better job, yes,” she said.
The tenant says she requested a transfer five years ago, but like everything else she’s asked of NYCHA she’s still waiting.
Secretary Carson toured the Queensbridge Houses in Astoria on Tuesday. Last week, he said the feds may take control of NYCHA unless there’s a plan in place at the end of January to improve conditions.