Troubles are not going down the drain for 80-year-old Bayview Houses resident Shirley Jona, who hasn’t been able to use her shower or bathtub for a couple of weeks now.
The aggravated resident, who’s lived in her first floor apartment for over 30 years, said her bathtub has been clogged and backed up since Saturday, April 30th. She’s tired of getting the runaround from NYCHA and she’s sick of being exposed to the blackened and contaminated water filled with sewage and feces.
“They had some maintenance men come Sunday – the next morning – then they came back Monday afternoon to clear the backup and snake out the line – meanwhile they plunged up all this dirt and waste up into my tub,” said Jona, who gave the Canarsie Courier a peak at the grotesque conditions inside of her bathroom earlier this week.
Jona, who is also blind, has not heard from maintenance or management since May 2nd and thus far she’s only been getting lip service.
“They said to put another ticket in for repairs and that they’re also waiting on a contracted plumber to do the work. I can’t live like this,” she said. “They want their rent paid on time, but they’ll make us wait weeks, months and years to be treated like human beings.”
For the time being, she is using her kitchen sink to carry out basic hygiene routines like washing up and brushing her teeth. When she uses the bathroom sink, she said, the water winds up backing up into the tub.
Jonas’ family has tried to bail some of the putrid water from the tub but it is not a feasible short-term solution with the toxic stench continuing to emanate from the bathroom.
The exhausted resident is also dealing with a slew of other dangerous living conditions – her kitchen wall has open and crumbling bubbles, which leak water near the electric fuse box, and a nearby closet is mold-ridden – a problem NYCHA has ignored following a flood in the building back in 2015.
When Bayview Management was contacted earlier this week, they couldn’t give a time frame for repairs.
Media reports last year noted that NYCHA, coined America’s largest housing authority, needs $40 billion pumped into their system in order to tackle the backlog of repairs and system maintenance issues. Despite the federal grants NYCHA has thus far received, tenants like Shirley Jona shouldn’t have to struggle to survive Third World conditions in a place she calls home.