State Senator Luis Sepúlveda today called on the New York City Housing Authority to initiate “a full emergency response” at the Claremont Consolidate Houses in his district, where tenants are being overrun with “rats the size of cats.”
“More than that, it is obvious that this is a problem based not only on neglect, but a major imbalance between the number of high paid NYCHA executives and the crying need for more maintenance staff, including exterminators,” said Sepúlveda.
Tenants at four buildings at College Avenue and E. 167th Street that make up a part of the 28-building complex held a press conference on Monday to complain they are being inundated with rats, releasing a video showing large rats running back and forth on one tenants’ kitchen sink and stove.
“We are in contact with tenant leaders, who paint a picture of long time neglect by management; a major shortage of maintenance workers, including exterminators; and in this current situation, a bad management call to shut down garbage compactors in the four directly-affected buildings that resulted in rats scrambling throughout the basements and up through the walls,” said Senator Sepúlveda.
“What is even more horrible is that a baby who was bitten all over their back had to be taken to the hospital on Monday,” said Sepulveda. “This is not Charles Dickens 18th Century London. This is New York City in the 21st Century.”
“We are human beings!” said Maria Forbes, one of the complex’s tenant association leaders. “Con Ed and maintenance workers can’t even get into the basement for all the rats scurrying around.”
“We once had 17,500 NYCHA employees, now we’re down to 11,540, and top heavy with management,” she said. “We need caretakers, electricians, exterminators. There are only 15 exterminators for 40 developments in the Bronx. It’s a mess!”
Forbes also complained that garbage “just sits on the street, with a lot of containers missing lids. And the rats even chewed through the plastic. We need city Sanitation to pick up the garbage. NYCHA just can’t handle it.”