Deaf Tenants Allege Years of Neglect and Poor Living Conditions on Forsyth Street

Posted on: October 27th, 2020 at 5:00 am by

Photo: Google Maps

Deaf tenants in HUD housing on the Lower East Side are organizing to demand better living conditions after years of purported neglect.

The buildings comprising 174-184 Forsyth Street were constructed in March 1994 specifically for low-income deaf and hearing-impaired tenants. New York Society for the Deaf owns the six-story, half-block complex, which was financed by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Current tenants allege years of neglect that led to extreme disrepair and lack of security. Horror stories apparently abound – such as broken toilets, ceilings collapsing, mold throughout apartments and hallways, and rodent infestations. Indeed, one apartment reportedly had a dead rat fall through a hole in the ceiling.

And then there are the elevators.

The buildings house several disabled individuals in wheelchairs or walkers. Yet the elevators are wholly unreliable. 174 Forsyth counts two lifts, one of which has been out of service since December 2019, according to the Department of Buildings database, while the other occasionally breaks down. There is also one elevator servicing 184 Forsyth Street.

Department of Buildings complaints

Combined, the buildings boast dozens of open violations, many of which have gone unresolved for years.

To shine a light on these deplorable conditions, the tenants organized a tenants association and are holding a press conference tomorrow morning (10:00am) to share stories and demand immediate action. Elected officials, including Councilwoman Margaret Chin, are expected in attendance.

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