By Jessica Easthope
“It’s been a year and a half since I had a sink,” said the NYCHA resident who didn’t want her name to be used.”
You read that right – she hasn’t had a sink or kitchen cabinets in more than 600 days.
“It’s stressful, I already deal with depression and anxiety and it’s just an overload on top of that, it’s hard, it’s hard, what am I supposed to do,” she said.
A leak on the floor above her’s in the Gompers Houses on the Lower East Side forced maintenance to rip out everything, and the not-so-temporary slop sink they gave her – just adds to the problem.
“Look you see, it leaks and you wash dishes or do anything and you have to keep dumping out the cup,” she said.
This happened just days after her gas was restored – that was out for over a year. NYCHA’s solution – a hot plate she was forced to use to make food for her two children, one is in a wheelchair.
“I want to put in for a transfer, but I need to be close to his hospitals and I don’t know where they’d send me,” she said. “It’s a struggle every day, every day.”
She pays $1,200-a-month for this space, despite the cockroach infestation. And she’s not the only one with complaints.
“It’s very sad that often times people live in very tough, trying situations, these are life issues, it’s quality of life but it’s life,” said Father Thomas McNamara.
Father Tom works with hundreds of residents, and he says the neglect is out of control. According to a report from Citizens Budget Commission within ten years 90 percent of NYCHA housing will have deteriorated to an extent that it wouldn’t be cost effective to repair them.
The resident we met today says the city has let her fall through the cracks, and she doesn’t have faith any official could help.
“Things are supposed to be changing with housing that they keep promising, I don’t have too much faith in the next mayor,” she said.
Back in 2014, NYCHA lost a federal lawsuit that mandated it to fix any issues that violate federal health and safety regulations.
Father Edward Mason, who also advocates on behalf of residents, believes the problem may just be too vast.
“It’s too large but the agreement is still in place, and we continue to just have to hold NYCHA’s hand to the fire to get these repairs done for people,” said Fr. Mason.
Currents News reached out to NYCHA both about the apartment we visited today and general neglect across the city, but our requests for comment have not been answered.