Brothers Battle NYCHA Over Neglect and Decade of Damage Inside Red Hook Houses Apartment

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Media, NYCHA, Queens, NY

By Jessica Easthope

Eric Hertzog is fighting for his family. That’s because the place they call home is falling apart, but he’s alone in that battle.

“I had to do something to reach out to them, I tried to reach out to them, they didn’t have any gas or electricity they gave them hot plates, for months, I had to do something about it, I had to intervene and help them,” said Eric.

Eric’s three brothers live together in a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartment inside the Red Hook Houses. Mold, mildew and crumbling paint plague the $1,700-dollar-a-month apartment where the men have lived for close to 20 years. Eric said he was told by someone who works for NYCHA there’s lead paint in the apartment.

“They said the work was completed and they never even showed up and that really ticked me off,” he said.

After trying to expose the issues in the apartment, NYCHA sent someone out to do repairs even though close to 100 work order tickets were ignored over a period of years. Eric said all they did was a patch job – painting over the mold instead of removing it.

Eric says his brother Charles, who was a NYCHA repairman himself for 25 years, has been having cognitive issues because of the conditions inside the apartment. According to the CDC, prolonged exposure to mold can cause memory loss, confusion and trouble concentrating.

“Coming in here, seeing my brother having difficulty breathing, being disoriented, coming in seeing the conditions of the apartment, the mold, the asbestos, the mildew, the living conditions are horrible,” Eric said.

Eric is trying to have his brothers moved to another building but he says NYCHA suggested a dangerous area of Brooklyn far from family and their doctors – but he’s not giving up.

“I give myself to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ and that’s where I get my faith and I hope something can be done immediately,” he said.

Editor’s Note: Currents News reached out to NYCHA about all of the Hertzog’s issues, but our requests were not answered. At the time of airing – there was an UPDATE from NYCHA: “NYCHA staff is en route to this apartment to assess what repairs are needed and will schedule accordingly. We ask that all residents continue to use the MyNychaApp or call the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771 to create a work order ticket for any maintenance needs.”