Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was visibly and verbally angry today as he stood with about 50 Brevoort Houses tenants – most of whom were elderly African-Americans – in nearly 90-degree weather and addressed how the New York City Housing Authority development has had water shortages for weeks.
“The problem is not merely one cleanup person, one office employee, one manager, it is a cesspool of cultural indifference,” Adams said. “It should not take public pressure to increase the goddamn water pressure!”
The NYCHA development at 254 Ralph Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant includes 894 apartments in 13 seven-story buildings housing nearly 2,000 people.
The NYCHA online dashboard, which is meant to record and address tenants’ complaints, was reportedly inaccurate as it indicated that the water outage had only been taking place for five hours as opposed to several days or weeks.
According to tenant reports, residents experienced brief restoration of water supply followed by another outage forcing them to submit a new ticket in NYCHA’s reporting system. Photographs have also been shared of water spigots being set up outside the housing development to allow residents to come and fill buckets of water at spigot stations outside their apartments.
“It is unbelievable what has taken place in the NYCHA residence all across the City,” Adams said. “This is Goddamn America, not Afghanistan! Seniors have to carry buckets of water to their apartments.”
Marguerite Whitehurst, a retired resident at Brevoort Houses since May 1954, said although she has experienced outages before, this was the first time she experienced it without a notice.
“It started about [last] Friday [for me]. You got to keep a pail in your bathroom in order to flush it,” Whitehurst said.
Elderly residents are not provided with assistance as they are securing their buckets filled with water.
“I took my shopping cart. I take one pail and a pot, and I go out and get as much [water] as I need,” Whitehurst said.
Calvin Drumgo, president of the Breukelen House Tenant Association, said he would lead a strike for those paying for water in poor conditions.
“We will no longer let [NYCHA] disable our tenants. I am calling for a meeting at the Breukelen houses in a couple of weeks for all the presidents and leaders, for us to call out a major rent strike,” Drumgo said.
The water after being restored is said to have a sandy texture to it, one unnamed source told KCP.
“People are tired of being tired, and sick of being sick, amongst the lead and amongst other things NYCHA has lied about,” Drumgo said.
Another unnamed source told KCP that NYCHA has been neglectful of collecting Brevoort Playground trash, only deciding to pick up garbage an hour before the Brooklyn president made an appearance.