Rebecca Spitz reports for NY1 on Housing Court Judge Sheldon Halprin’s hands-on approach:
Housing court Judge Sheldon Halprin took a tour of a three-building complex on West 145 Street in Manhattan Wednesday.
“We have no shower, wooden floors where we get maggots and bedbugs. We had to throw out all our furniture,” said tenant Eileen Caraballo.
Throwing out all your furniture when fighting a bed bug infestation is a desperate measure that is familiar to us. As much as we are told how it is unnecessary to do so as long as proper pest control measures are taken, we understand how it sadly comes to that for so many people.
A tenant organizer says rather than making repairs, the landlord has been busy renting open apartments to the city’s Department of Homeless Services. In fact, of the 60 apartments in the complex, about two-thirds are now occupied by formerly homeless families.
Longtime tenants say they believe the landlord is using that and the lack of repairs to try to force them to leave. As a result, more than a dozen tenants joined forces — and sued. They say nothing happened until Judge Halprin announced he planned to visit.
Judge Halprin did a very cool thing. We hope these tenants will soon get relief.