East New York mother says landlord turned off her utilities, despite paying her rent on time

Germania Joseph says she and her eight children came home Monday night to find no electricity, gas, or heat-- all which she claims her landlord manually turned off.

News 12 Staff

Apr 7, 2022, 1:09 AM

Updated 802 days ago

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A mother of eight from East New York says her landlord turned off her apartment's utilities, even though she had paid her rent on time.
Germania Joseph says she and her eight children came home Monday night to find no electricity, gas, or heat-- all which she claims her landlord manually turned off.
"I have infants and toddlers. You wouldn't want somebody to do that to you if you were in my shoes. Why would you do that to me?" Joseph says.
She and her small kids spent most of Monday night into Tuesday outside, as temperatures dropped -- desperately trying to figure out what to do.
"We were in the back of the ambulance for over two hours," Joseph says.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development, EMS, and police showed up to the home, but the landlord was nowhere to be found. But HPD found mold inside the apartment.
"About eight officers came from 8 p.m. to 4:30 in the morning. They bang on the door, they call her phone, she don't answer," Joseph says.
Assembly Member Nikki Lucas received a call and immediately showed up to help.
"We stood out there. I made a number of different calls that night because I just couldn't in good conscience go home and sleep when you have eight kids out there that can't," Lucas says.
Lucas' office was in touch with multiple city agencies as well, and it turns out Joseph's story matched up.
"This happens to be an unscrupulous landlord. They're not all that way, but this one happens to be that way," Lucas says.
Joseph and her children are staying in a family shelter in the meantime, but still fighting for justice.
Both she and Lucas are in the process of filing violations with HPD.
"Because we can't just keep giving violations that are completely ignored, alright? So, we want to make sure that those violations there is some level of enforcement attached to this," Lucas says.
News 12 got a hold of both HPD and the Department of Social Services. They say they are looking into this case and will provide an update once more information becomes available.


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