Dangerous mold complaints go ignored at Jamaica senior home

Councilman Rory Lancman visited Shelton House residents to investigate claims of unmitigated mold issues.
Photos courtesy of the office of Rory Lancman

Senior citizens in a Jamaica housing development are sick and tired of being ignored over complaints of dangerous mold conditions in their building.

The issue is taking place at Shelton House, a 12-story building exclusively for seniors located at 89-09 162nd St. The site houses about 159 residents in a total of 155 apartments and was constructed in 1978.

Councilman Rory Lancman met with the residents for a tour of the building on Friday. During the visit, Lancman saw festering mold and rotting, uneven floors in several apartments.

According to the councilman, the residence also has mold in the basement, sub-basement and compactor room, so even residents who don’t have mold in their units may still be breathing contaminated air.

Lancman said Shelton House residents deserve to have decent living conditions.

“These conditions are completely unacceptable, and NYCHA must take action immediately to provide these seniors with safe, quality homes,” Lancman said.

Under a 2013 settlement, the housing agency is required to remediate basic mold-related repairs within seven days and more complex repairs within 15 days.

Despite this requirement, Lancman said many residents at Shelton Houses have been waiting months for a repair. Even though some repairs are done, the councilman alleges that the problems often resume as NYCHA neglects underlying issues causing the mold.

Tenants Association President Neva Harper said she was tired of fighting NYCHA to get basic repairs.

“We aren’t asking for the red carpet treatment; we just need apartments that are free of mold and rotting, uneven floors that can cause serious injuries,” Harper said.