BROWNSVILLE - A morbidly obese Brownsville man is entangled in an eviction battle with the New York City Housing Authority because he took over his deceased mother's apartment.
Adam Spivey says he cannot move from his current first-floor apartment because of his weight. NYCHA claims the apartment does not belong to Spivey, who lived with his mother for only a few months before she died. According to NYCHA grievance rules, tenants must live in an apartment for at least one year before inheriting the lease.
"All I ask is to keep my mom's apartment," Spivey says. "I need it. I have no where to go. From here, it's a shelter."
Cathy Pagan, Spivey's doctor, says her patient's weight should be treated as a disability. Pagan believes keeping the apartment could mean life or death for Spivey.
"If there's a fire, could you imagine Adam trying to run out of the apartment on the 14th floor? Trying to get an elevator?" Pagan says.
Spivey, who weighs 625 pounds, has already petitioned NYCHA to stay in the apartment twice, though his requests have both been denied. NYCHA issued Spivey a six-month temporary lease so he can stay there during the appeals process.
Spivey has one more hearing to appeal NYCHA's decision. His temporary lease is up in May.