Posted on April 12, 2018
Legal Aid Demands Rebates for Nycha Tenants Left in the Cold
— Jeff Mays (@JeffCMays) April 12, 2018
It was so cold in January in A’seelah Diamond’s apartment at Fiorentino Plaza, a public housing development in East New York, that she, her husband and their three daughters all piled into one bed every night to keep warm.
On Jan. 4 when the temperature outside was 19 degrees, her apartment had no heat or hot water.
Tenants such as Ms. Diamond and her husband, Tyrone, 30, who pay $1,282 a month in rent, deserve a refund, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan by the Legal Aid Society. The class-action lawsuit comes after the authority refused a demand for Legal Aid to abate from $2.5 million to $15 million in rent to tenants who were left without basic services during the heating season.
Lucy Newman, staff attorney at the Legal Aid civil law reform unit, blamed the [housing] authority’s inability to provide heat for residents on poor management and staff cuts.
“No one in 10-to-20-degree weather should have no hot water,” Ms. Diamond said.