By Ivan Pereira
The city came to the aid of 37 homeowners living in a neglected Jamaica apartment building last week and is seeking more penalties against the owners for leaving tenants with decrepit homes.
On May 12, a New York City Housing Court Judge ordered the owners of 88-22 Parsons Blvd., New York Affordable Housing Associates III LLC, Chaim Kirshenbaum and Avi Feder to correct nearly 130 outstanding city Department of Buildings violations issued against the building since May 2009, according to a representative from the city Department of Housing Preservation & Development, which filed the motion on behalf of the tenants.
Eric Bederman, a spokesman for the agency, said numerous tenants of the six-story building have complained that serious problems in their apartments have gone unnoticed and unresolved despite the severity of the damage.
“The violations range from mold in the bathroom to loose plaster tiles and broken shower stalls,” he said.
In addition to the order, the judge fined the landlords $6,500 in civil penalties for failing to resolve the DOB violations. Kirshenbaum and Feder could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday.
HPD is not finished with the owners, who have had responsibility over the 37-unit building since December 2007, records from the city Department of Finance show. Bederman said the agency has filed a civil suit in Housing Court against New York Affordable Housing that seeks undisclosed civil penalties for nine violations in four apartments.
The violations included defects such as “defective faucets in bathtubs, mold on bathroom walls and roof leaks,” according to the spokesman.
“It’s been a while [since they responded], which is why we’ve filed,” the spokesman said.
Tenants have complained about the decrepit conditions for years. The building’s tenants, who have been led by longtime resident Amy Anderson, dealt with heavy shakes back in 2007 that were caused by nearby construction.
The shakes also contributed to the damage, according to Anderson.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.