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Lower East Side residents need help with leaky, smelly lobby; families complain it’s a health hazard

Posted at 6:11 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 18:11:05-04

Hundreds of families living in a public housing complex on the Lower East Side have dealt with a leak in their building lobby for months.

It smells like sewage in the Baruch Houses lobby. A trash can collects the water as moms, children and a woman in a motorized wheelchair pass through.

Resident Annie Espinal has a bad leak in her apartment. She believes the leak there and the leak in the lobby are coming from the same plumbing problem.

“It’s been months. We just want answers," she said. "What’s going on here?"

New York City Housing Authority data shows that, for the past year, plumbing work orders have gone up every month. And every month, more new plumbing work orders have come in than have been closed or canceled.

It takes a plumber an average of 133 days to complete a repair!

NYCHA said "plumbers were on location Wednesday to make repairs to plumbing along the wall of a staircase at 288 Delancey Street. Repairs were made to plumbing impacting apartments on the 6th, 7th, and 8th floor. Staff will follow up with residents regarding any necessary subsequent repairs."

“NYCHA prioritizes immediate health and safety concerns in our residents’ homes," a spokesperson said.  "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, including for issues in common areas.”