Tenants say their complaints were ignored.
The Long Beach Housing Authority has not received any complaints from residents of 415 National Blvd., a six-story Section 8 senior housing facility, said the agency’s executive director, Paul Goodman, after tenants had complained about unsafe conditions at the apartment building at City Hall last week.
Tenants attended a meeting of the Long Island Regional Planning Council
, held there last Thursday, when they told the panelists that, despite their calls to the Housing Authority, the agency had failed to address certain issues
after flooding damaged two elevators, laundry rooms and the mechanical systems during Hurricane Sandy.
The seniors said that, three months later, only one elevator, the smaller of the two, was restored, and a new intercom security system at the front entrance that was installed remains unusable, which allows anyone to walk into the building off the street and roam the halls.
“Nothing has changed and it seems to be getting worse,” tenant Geraldine Levosi told the panel. “I just wish we could get some attention towards us.”
Among the panelists was County Legislator Denise Ford (R-Long Beach), who said she would contact the Housing Authority about their concerns. But Goodman said that he hasn’t received any complaints from the tenants at the building, and that his staff has made it “pretty functional” considering the storm-related circumstances, according to the Long Beach Herald
. Goodman said:
“Maybe I’m callous, but I don’t see the emergency in the type of condition in the building.”
Another resident, Annie LaSalle, told the Herald that when two tenants had to be taken to the hospital last week, the paramedics were unable to fit the stretchers into the smaller elevator and they put them in wheelchairs instead. In such an emergency situations, Goodman said, workers have willingly carried the residents down stairs, and the Housing Authority has given tenants information about people who can assist them in emergencies.
Meanwhile, New York Communities for Change, a Hempstead-based organization that assists tenants who have concerns with housing issues, has called attention to the concerns of the residents at 415 National Blvd. Members of the organization accompanied them to last week’s meeting but let them speak on their own behalf.
Moving forward, tenants would like the the Housing Authority to hire a security guard until the intercom system is functional, but Goodman said that there haven’t been any incidents in the building to warrant one, he told the Herald. That tenants can always call police if they feel unsafe, he said, and he has asked the police department to stop by the building during their patrols.
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