Mott Haven residents say city, church has neglected abandoned buildings

Bronx residents living on one block in Mott Haven say the church and the city are neglecting buildings they own, and the rest of the neighborhood is paying the price.
It has been two years since St. Peter's Lutheran Church and Food Pantry closed, leaving those two buildings and the city-owned one between them abandoned.
Neighbors say it became a dumping ground for garbage and say there was an explosion of drug use and an influx of homeless people.
A letter writing campaign did lead to the church putting up these fences around its two buildings about eight months ago. While neighbors say it has helped with the drug use and homelessness, it's also led to a new problem.
Residents say rats will live in the church buildings, come out for the garbage that gets dumped in front of the fences and then make their way across the street into people's houses.
The neighbors say they're not asking for much, just for the city and the church to send someone once or twice a week to clean up the buildings that they still own and put out some traps.
"I can tell you tell you and I can reassure you in any other historic district of the city this would never happen. Just because we are here in Mott Haven, in the south Bronx, it's taking place," says Samuel Brooks, president of the Mott Haven Historic District Association.
State Assemblywoman Amanda Septimo says she is in the process of organizing a cleanup for the area and is reaching out to local organizations to learn more about the situation.
News 12 reached out to the Metropolitan New York Synod, who said, "We are working diligently with the city of New York, as well as the neighbors and community to improve the conditions of the building."
Metropolitan New York Synod also said the building is regularly monitored and is cleaned every two weeks.