Public housing

Coney Island public housing residents sue city over unresolved issues caused by Hurricane Sandy

A few dozen Coney Island public housing residents are suing NYCHA, alleging a host of serious unresolved issues with their homes — including a line break that left some families without cooking gas for more than a year.

The lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Housing Court earlier this week was filed on behalf of more than 50 residents of seven city-run public housing complexes on Coney Island, who claim a series of dangerous issues arising from the hurricane Sandy nearly 10 years ago has not been resolved. .

The lawsuit comes just weeks after Gothamist reported on the living conditions in public housing around Coney Island. The Department of Buildings and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development have been named as defendants in the case.

Most residents were affected by a cooking gas outage that stemmed from a Hurricane Sandy sanitation project gone awry. It was intended to replace boilers and generators damaged by the 2012 storm but which destroyed gas lines in the process.

October marks the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the hurricane in New York, which killed dozens of New Yorkers, left hundreds of thousands without power and caused billions of dollars in damage.

“Lack of running water, no elevator service, mold and gas outages are just a few of the problems these residents regularly face,” Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus said. , whose Brooklyn district encompasses Coney Island, in a statement. “All we ask is that tenants receive the amenities they pay for – nothing more, nothing less.”

A NYCHA spokesperson said the agency does not comment on ongoing litigation. A spokesperson for the city’s legal department said the agency “will review the matter and respond accordingly.”

“The landlord’s failure to correct the alleged breaches and conditions is intended to cause us to vacate our apartments or waive or waive our rights,” the Housing Court petition reads in part.

Residents of one development, Sites 4 and 5, say they have been without gas since August 30, 2021. Another development, O’Dwyer Gardens, has left residents without gas for seven months.

“Until the repairs are finally done, it’s difficult to cook in our apartments on the only hot plate NYCHA gave us,” said Marcy Jackson, president of the Tenants’ Association for Sites 4 and 5.

The legacy of Hurricane Sandy left many residents wondering how prepared the city would be in the event of another similar extreme weather event. Resilience projects have been underway over the years, but certain catastrophic events – flooding of basements due to rainfall from Hurricane Ida in 2021 – have prompted the city to do more to protect residents, especially in neighboring communities. Eleven people drowned in their basements last year, in Ida’s wake.

The City Council held a hearing this summer on the impact of extreme weather on the city’s aging infrastructure, as council members pointed to a sinkhole in the Bronx that appeared to swallow a pickup truck whole in video footage. The sewer lines below could not withstand the level of rainfall on a July day when flooding occurred in low-lying, poorly drained areas of the city.