Broken Elevator Raises Manhattan Tenants' Frustration
Tenants of a Manhattan apartment building say they've been without elevator service for a week and a half, leaving some elderly tenants trapped in their homes, and are now putting pressure on their landlord to get it fixed. NY1's Mahsa Saeidi filed the following report.
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Alexandra Rodriguez and her 93-year-old mom live on the fourth floor of 569 West 150th Street, a privately owned building in Hamilton Heights. Rodriguez says her mother -- who uses a wheelchair -- has not been able to leave since the elevator went out.
"I call to the office, the landlord, the landlord say I don't know the elevators are off for the time," Rodriguez said.
At an emergency meeting Monday night, tenants said the city shut down the elevators after inspectors discovered the system was missing parts.
Now some worry for their elderly neighbors if the situation should drag on.
"The city says it's the landlords responsibility because this is his building and he has to bring it up to par before they'll pass the inspection," said Linda Torres, a building resident.
"They came one time, the technicians to try to do something and they couldn't solve the problem, they left and we haven't heard nothing ever since," said Gabriel Bencosme, a building resident.
Bencosme, along with his wife and two children, make the slow trip from the first floor to the sixth floor. His mother, who is bedridden, also lives on the top floor of the building. He says taking the stairs is especially difficult for him because he suffers from cerebral degeneration, which affects his balance and equilibrium.
"For me, going down is difficult, coming up is more easier for me but going down I feel like I'm going to fall if I go down," Bencosme said.
NY1 has reached out to the company that owns the building along with the city Department of Buildings and Department of Housing Preservation and Development for comment.
Residents say they are going to draft a letter to the landlord demanding that the elevator be fixed as soon as possible.