Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Baby, Its Cold In Here!

This winter has certainly been a rough one, but if you live at 377 Ocean Parkway in Kensington, there was very little respite from the cold winter air, even in your home. That is because, despite literally thousands of complaints to the landlord over the years, very little, if anything was done to improve living conditions.

Last Wednesday, as yet another storm engulfed the New York area, the temperature in one tenant’s apartment in the building read a crisp 51 degrees. That is 5 degrees below the legal limit for a nighttime temperature. Tenants must bundle up in sweaters and blankets and gather around space heaters just to keep their tosies cozy.

“Landlords are required by law to provide heat to their tenants during the coldest months of the year,” said RuthAnne Visnauskas, the commissioner of the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development. “If they fail to do so, HPD will use all of the enforcement tools at its disposal to hold the landlord accountable and get the heat restored.”

As if. The city has received an unbelievable 48,418 calls from tenants in Brooklyn during the three and a half months from October 1, 2013 to January 12, 2014. That’s an increase of 6.5 percent since the same time last year.

And nothing seems to help the tenants at 377 Ocean Pkwy. The owners of the four-story, brown brick building, 377 Realty Associates have not responded to 205 open violations of city codes, including mold, mice, broken boilers and peeling paint. City inspectors have slapped violations on the owner for lack of heat last winter, and a dearth of hot water in January this year. Even being featured on a segment on Time Warner Cable News NY1 did not get a response from the landlord.