Serrano Welcomes Displaced Bronx Residents Home

José M. Serrano

December 20, 2010

Today Senator José M. Serrano, along with Community advocates and residents of the Highbridge section in the Bronx, welcomed back 26 displaced families that had been evacuated by city agencies from 1204 Shakespeare Avenue due to safety concerns.

On Saturday, December 4th, city officials evacuated tenants after they found construction debris blocking a fire exit and two fire escapes were deemed unsafe for use. Families traveled to shelters and hotels around New York City, some as distant as Far Rockway, making it difficult for children to attend local schools, among other inconveniences.

“It is a relief and a pleasure to know that these families will now be able to spend the holidays at home in their community. Nevertheless, it’s unacceptable that these residents were forced to leave their homes to undergo unforeseen inconveniences for such an extended period of time,” said Senator Serrano, who last week spoke with the Department of Buildings, and met with the Building Manager of Bragreis Realty Corp., to whom he conveyed the frustration of the displaced residents and the importance of properly maintaining and preserving this building.

This morning, the New York City Commissioner of the Department of Buildings toured the site and reviewed the repairs, officially sanctioning the return of the tenants. Resident children turned on the building’s Christmas tree lights, signaling the families' homecoming.

“This instance should serve as a reminder to landlords throughout the city to treat their buildings and residents with respect, and not to allow their properties to fall into unsafe states of disrepair," said the Senator. "It is my hope that the residents of 1204 Shakespeare Avenue will have a festive holiday season, and enjoy their homes into the new year and beyond.”