NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A single mother and her two children have been forced to live in an apartment with so many leaks the walls actually drip water.
So far the New York City Housing Authority has done doing nothing about it. Now, CBS2’s political reporter Marcia Kramer is demanding answers.
Clara Rivera’s living room has no furniture; just lots of bins stacked to the ceiling to hold the family’s clothes. It’s the only room that’s relatively dry.
The windows leak, the closets leak, the ceilings leak, and believe it or not, the walls weep. The sound is so loud she couldn’t sleep Thursday night.
“I heard dripping,” Rivera said. “It woke me up. I felt the drips on me. I basically woke up in a little trench and then I woke up angry.”
She’s angry because she has repeatedly asked the people at NYCHA to help her; putting in tickets and requesting repairs with little success.
“I get tired of putting in tickets and they don’t attend to my ticket you understand what I’m saying? They make us feel worthless, helpless.”
As she took CBS2 through the apartment she shares with her two asthmatic children – ages two and seven – she showed off the leaks, the mold caused by the leaks, and walls that literally wept water when she ran her hand over them.
“My hand is dripping… That is from touching the wall.”
She says NYCHA claims it’s not leaks – just “condensation.” It’s an excuse she finds incomprehensible.
Rivera also says the leaky apartment is made worse by the fact that she’s had no heat.
NYCHA posted notices telling the nearly 3,200 residents of the Sonia Sotomayer Houses in the Bronx that last Friday the heat would be turned off for planned maintenance. Rivera says it’s been off for a week.
“If they don’t want to help me, just help me move out of here because I have two asthmatic children that need the help, that need sleep, that need the warmth at nighttime and in the morning when they’re getting ready for school.”
A NYCHA spokesperson said she would look into the problem, but denied requests for an interview because “no one is available” and said she would provide information on the stats of the apartment as soon as it becomes available.
Just moments before CBS2 aired Rivera’s story at 6 p.m. on Friday, NYCHA responded, saying the agency sent contractors to repair radiator knobs and a steam leak in the living room.
They have agreed to fix the plaster and paint. Clara says she has to wait to see if she is awakened by more dripping.