NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Disabled seniors have been forced to take the stairs in their housing development because of an elevator that’s been out for almost two months.
On Sunday night, CBS2’s Reena Roy was demanding answers as to why.READ MORE: Suicide Prevention Walks Taking Place Across US This Weekend
At 84 years old, taking just a few steps can be tough.
But seven flights of stairs with a walker?
It’s excruciating to say the least for Leo Wright.
“I feel like a Mack truck ran over me, just those two steps,” Wright told CBS2’s Reena Roy.
Tenants at the Grace Houses on 90th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens say they’ve had no other choice for about two months. That’s how long the elevator has been out of order in the senior housing development, where there are 80 units across eight floors.
“It is atrocious. Listen, I got arthritis in just about every joint in my body,” Wright said. “It takes me about a half hour to walk up.”
Luther Roof is 77 and gets around on a scooter. He said he has not even been able to leave his apartment because he can’t get downstairs.READ MORE: Peter Scolari Of 'Newhart,' 'Bosom Buddies,' Dies At 66
“I’m in here, I’m stuck in here from the 4th of March,” Roof said. “I don’t get to go to no doctor’s appointments. I call myself under house arrest because I cant come out. It’s been very hard.”
Residents said they’ve been complaining to management but nothing has been done. A letter from building managers says they cannot predict when the elevator will be back in service.
“We don’t know what to do,” resident Joyce Williams said. “It’s very sad. It’s very sad.”
In a notice to tenants, management explained the elevator’s braking mechanism has to be repaired.
“They’re trying to figure out what’s best way to go about the system because it has to be fully renovated,” said building superintendent Jose Nazario, who added when asked why it’s taking so long, “I don’t know. Politics. That’s the part I don’t know.”
CBS2 tried to reach the management company, but we were told no one was available.
It’s a situation so dire property owners could be facing $100,000 in fines. Department of Buildings inspectors have visited the building four times since getting a 311 complaint in March, slapping them with violations each time for failing to maintain the elevator.MORE NEWS: Man Rescued After Falling On LIRR Tracks At Penn Station
And the agency said it may take more severe action by having city contractors do the work at the owners’ expense if that’s what it takes to provide elevator access for the seniors, who are trying to take it one day and one step at a time.