A group of Bronx public housing tenants fed up with the slow pace of repairs has taken the New York City Housing Authority to court over water leaks and mold problems.
Tenants at the Morris Houses and the Urban Justice Center, a group representing them, plan to rally at a Bronx housing court Monday before their first court date in a lawsuit filed last month over poor conditions at the public housing complex.
“Their issues are just not being addressed,” said Garrett Wright, staff attorney at the Urban Justice Center. “With NYCHA, there’s often very long delays to get repairs done.”
Twenty-five tenants signed on to the lawsuit, which details hundreds of needed repairs, from small fixes such as a need for a fresh coat of paint and busted windows to major problems like leaks, mold and vermin.
The Urban Justice Center had filed a similar lawsuit for tenants at the Smith Houses in the Lower East Side that resulted in repairs. The de Blasio administration this year, meanwhile, settled a class-action lawsuit from NYCHA tenants that promised quicker attention to mold problems. A spokeswoman for NYCHA could not comment on pending litigation.
Wright said the goal for the suit, which names NYCHA and its chair Shola Olatoye and the Housing and Preservation Department, is to get the agency to prioritize the most serious problems like leaks and mold while getting apartments up to code.
“There’s still a need to hold NYCHA accountable in court,” Wright said.