NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tenants with disabilities rallied against poor housing conditions and what they call discriminatory treatment at a housing complex on the Lower East Side on Tuesday.
CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke to residents who say they’ve been forgotten.READ MORE: Suffolk Police: Ganessa Gordon, 18, Reported Missing In Brentwood
Frederique McCall is hearing impaired, so a translator spoke for her, expressing her frustration over the elevators she says have been broken more than a year.
“I’ve been stuck in here six to eight times. I’ll scream to the top of my lungs for 30 minutes, and it’s a deaf building, so everybody’s deaf,” she said through a translator.
McCall says last week, residents even had to carry a tenant in a wheelchair up the stairs.
She has lived at 174 Forsyth Street for nearly 30 years, since the apartment was first built for low-income disabled tenants.
“Now, since new management has taken over, like six years now, this building has gone down so bad,” resident Johnny Francia said through a translator.
“We have roaches and mice inside the apartments,” said Elewood Torres, who uses a wheelchair.READ MORE: 'Best Small Cities In America': New Jersey Communities Make Top 25
Torres says the building doesn’t even have accessible doors.
Residents say they’ve been calling on management, local and federal officials to make improvements for years now.
“This is not just a tenants rights issue, it’s a disability rights issue. The city needs to be held accountable … and the federal government needs to provide the funding necessary,” community organizer Grace Lee said.
It is a HUD Section 8 building, subsidized by the federal government, but advocates say the city also has a responsibility.
“Management refuses to respect the tenants, has not made repairs. We have a crisis situation,” said Bob Angles, with the Broome Street Tenants Alliance.
“It’s not safe. I’m constantly telling the superintendent, ‘Please do something,'” McCall said through a translator.
Tenants say they hope someone finally answers their pleas for help.MORE NEWS: Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Children At Bronx Day Care Since 2018 Arrested
CBS2 received a statement from the management company Tuesday afternoon. It said they are waiting to begin elevator work once the city approves permits. They say the intercom system is being worked on and that the property is regularly exterminated.