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NYCHA tenants file class action lawsuit over ‘deplorable conditions’

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NYCHA tenants call out neglect and decrepit conditions in new class action lawsuit

The same week that thousands of NYCHA Taft Houses residents were temporarily left without water in Harlem, a coalition of tenants have filed a class action lawsuit against the embattled housing authority, detailing neglect and “substandard living conditions.”

Filed in Brooklyn’s New York State Supreme Court, the complaint cites tenants’ experiences going without gas or a stove for months, living with invasive mold, insect and rodent infestations, as well as persistent elevator outages, which “trap physically challenged or wheelchair-bound NYCHA tenants in their apartments,” says a statement from Berg & Androphy, the law firm representing the public housing tenants.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and rent abatements for residents who are often pushed to spend out of their own pockets for basic services that NYCHA should be legally providing, such as equipment to cook with when there’s no gas and traps to deal with infestations. The case comes after a 2018 lawsuit brought by Manhattan federal prosecutors exposed the agency’s attempts to cover-up poor living conditions; which culminated, as part of a settlement, in a 2019 partial federal takeover.

“NYCHA has breached its contracts with its tenants and acted with an appalling lack of care, ethics, and empathy,” Jenny Kim, a partner at Berg & Androphy, said in a statement. “It is well past time to hold the agency accountable.”

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