(02/26/07) BUSHWICK - Residents of an apartment building in Bushwick say they&舗;re suffering through the dead of winter with no heat or water.
Building tenant Asalee Ford, 83, says she has to turn her oven on in order to stay warm. According to Ford, the heat and hot water in her apartment in the 556 Evergreen Avenue building were turned off two weeks ago. Another tenant, Margaret Yeamans, says her daughter was recently released from the hospital with a respiratory infection caused by the conditions. Yeamans, who used to be homeless, says she&舗;d rather live in the shelter system than deal with her current living situation.
Both tenants, who pay subsidized rent through Section 8 housing, claim the landlord is trying to force them out of the building. They believe the landlord wants new tenants who are willing to pay higher rent. Yeamans claims the landlord, Vincent Riggans, told her he recently sold the building to a new landlord, Amar Moody. According to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the building has 84 open violations. Calls to both the former and current landlords have not been returned.