A living hell in NYCHA houses: Agency ignores blackout victims trapped since Hurricane Sandy
NY Daily News
For more than a week, hundreds of public housing tenants — mostly ailing or elderly — have been trapped inside their upper-floor apartments, waiting in vain for the return of elevators, lights, heat and water.
They say they’ve yet to get help from NYCHA and, instead, are relying on a steady stream of volunteers for food, water and a glimmer of hope.
“Nobody from management has come up here,” said Jose Reyes, 57, who has left his 13th-floor apartment in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn only once over the last week. “It’s incredible that in the greatest nation in the world, this is happening here.”
As of Tuesday – eight days after Hurricane Sandy battered New York – 21,000 NYCHA residents in 114 buildings across Brooklyn, Queens and lower Manhattan were still without power.
In these developments, there are residents who are sick or too frail to negotiate the pitch-dark staircases that now serve as the only means of entry or exit until elevators are restored. Living high above the city, they survive without running water, and with toilets that don’t flush, refrigerators that don’t function and heat that seems to diminish each day as temperatures dip.