NYCHA South Jamaica Houses experience extensive flooding

Photos courtesy of Councilman Ruben Will's office

Residents are facing flooding yet again at NYCHA South Jamaica Houses after wastewater inundated parts of the building.

Ebony Holmes, a resident at 190-10 160th St., lives on the second floor where the majority of the flooding is located. Holmes said the problem started at 6 p.m. Sunday and occurred last year. In both cases, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) employees mopped her floor and snaked her drain but the problem kept coming back. This year, the flood in her apartment is seeping down into the community center, which houses the Southern Queens Park Association (SQPA) after-school programs for children.

“It’s extreme. It’s all the way out of the apartment, in the hallway,” Holmes said. “The furniture is wet, the rug is wet, everything is done.”

Holmes had to leave her apartment Sunday night because it was not suitable for sleeping. She expressed her frustration with NYCHA officials and is requesting that they give her a new apartment.

Last year, the cleanup job left mold and mildew in her home and Holmes said cigarettes and feces are spilling into her bathroom, tub and living room. She purchased new furniture for her living room after last year’s flooding and was not reimbursed.

“The cleaning they’re doing is not cleaning,” Holmes said. “I’m not waiting for this to happen again.”


Councilman Ruben Wills toured the area to witness the extent of the damage firsthand and was told by NYCHA that the agency is willing to relocate Holmes until her apartment is cleaned.

“It was wholly unacceptable for the tenants and families of the NYCHA South Jamaica Houses to have endured putrid wastewater flowing through their building for more than 12 hours, and not receive a timely and robust response by its maintenance staff,” Wills said in a statement. “Had the constituent who came to my office this morning not taken the initiative to bring this issue to my attention, this problem may well have continued to go unnoticed.”

He also blasted the property’s superintendent James Sanders for his lack of response and said that the tenants “deserve better.”

NYCHA did not immediately respond to The Courier’s request for comment.

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