Home » New York Confronts Landlord of Partially Collapsed Bronx Building
Featured goverment new york News

New York Confronts Landlord of Partially Collapsed Bronx Building

Demolition is expected to begin Thursday on the Bronx apartment building that partially collapsed earlier this week, impacting nearly 175 people.

Two days after the corner section of the building crumbled, CBS New York’s Ali Bauman confronted the landlord in an exclusive interview..

The city is still investigating exactly what caused the collapse, but we know the building already had more than 100 open violations and countless complaints from residents about crumbling conditions. When Bauman asked the landlord why he let these apartments fall into disrepair, he literally ran away.

Dozens of frustrated tenants waited outside their collapsed building Wednesday on Billingsley Terrace for their landlord to emerge, and when he finally did, the self-identified building owner didn’t offer much. “What do you say to the residents here whose homes are destroyed?” Bauman asked.

“Thank God everyone is safe, and hopefully everybody except for that six apartments will be restored as soon as possible,” the landlord said.

“Why weren’t repairs being made? There were over 100 violations,” Bauman asked. The landlord did not answer the question and walked away.

With several documented cracks along the building’s facade before this collapse and a 2020 engineering report labeling the building’s facade as “unsafe,” we were determined to get answers.

“Who was in charge of making these repairs here?” Bauman asked. The landlord again walked away, then said, “You don’t belong over here.”

“It’s their fault that now we don’t have a safe place to be on Christmas,” tenant Rosa Diaz said. Diaz is one of 174 residents, including 44 children, who cannot return to their apartments after the collapse. The Red Cross is putting them up in emergency shelters until Friday.

“I don’t know what’s gonna happen after Friday,” Diaz said. Many families are not yet allowed back home to get their things. “I’m a mother of three. The smallest is a baby, 7 months. I don’t have no milk, no bottles, no clothes,” tenant Diana Martinez said.

Martinez says she sent photos of her fallen bathroom ceiling to the landlord’s office months before the building collapsed. “I am angry. Imagine. We don’t pay $100, we don’t pay $10 of rent. The rent over here is mostly $2,000 and up,” she said.

So we asked the landlord one more time about repairs before he drove away. “A hundred violations, why weren’t they corrected?” Bauman asked. “Most of the work was done,” the landlord said.

Martinez told us her kids have had to miss school this week because they’re staying in a shelter all the way in Brooklyn.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development says they will help to rehouse those displaced families when the Red Cross shelter ends this week.

Source: CBS