NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Harlem apartment was left soaked, flooded with water spewing from the sink, and this isn’t the first time it’s happened.
CBS2 is demanding answers from the New York City Housing Authority after the unfortunate tenant says the city has failed her family again.
“I was scared. Stressed. Almost had a panic attack.”
Late Tuesday night, Margie Beltran and her daughter were frightened by an unfortunately familiar sound.
“My daughter told me ‘mommy, something’s… I hear something in the kitchen,’ so I ran to the kitchen and the water started gushing… Gushing out,” the NYCHA tenant said.
Dirty water was flowing out of her kitchen sink, flooding her entire first floor apartment at the Thomas Jefferson Houses in Harlem.
Rancid smelling water was contaminating everything on the floor, all the way out her front door and this isn’t the first time.
CBS2 spoke with Beltran in December last year, when she got flooded out twice in two days.
A quick transfer to a new place wasn’t an option, since NYCHA only had one percent vacancy and she needs a handicapped accessible apartment for her two teenage daughters with cerebral palsy.
Back in December, CBS2 demanded answers from the housing authority and Mayor de Blasio – who then said:
“This is a real hardship situation. A mom dealing with that kind of situation we would want to get to immediately. Obviously she’d be a priority,” de Blasio claimed.
Beltran says she’s not felt prioritized. NYCHA then denied her request to be reimbursed for property damage.
In January, she says the city gave her a voucher to find a new apartment that meets her family’s needs, but she claims the only apartment the city offered was an insult.
“They did call with an accessible apartment but it was on the eighth floor and then a notice attached that said that some of the apartments had bed bugs.”
NYCHA now has new leadership with Commissioner Gregory Russ. CBS2 tried to bring Beltran’s struggle directly to his attention as he was leaving a public hearing.
“What can you tell her now about what’s going to be done?” Sanchez asked Commissioner Russ.
“Ma’am unless I know the circumstances of her case, I really need to understand what happened there and then we can figure out how to fix it,” Russ argued.
CBS2 asked the housing authority to review Beltran’s case and the agency’s actions to this point. NYCHA sent CBS2 a written statement claiming Beltran’s issue in December had been addressed and that the current problems were a new issue.
“At the Mayor’s direction, we immediately followed up and addressed the resident’s flooding issue in December. This is a new request, and our staff responded today to address immediate repair needs for a sink stoppage for Ms. Beltran and her family after receiving this request last night. Staff remain in contact with the resident to coordinate additional plumbing repairs and will review her damage claim.”
Beltran says she’s hoping fresh blood running NYCHA will bring new and better outcomes.
“Do you feel like the city has failed you?” Sanchez asked the NYCHA tenant.
“Again. Yes,” Beltran said.