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The city took the owner of a 136-unit apartment building on Pelham Parkway to court for repairs after serious violations came to light. The number of violations are being reduced, but more work needs to be done, according to tenants and housing advocates.
Residents at 750 – 760 Pelham Parkway South had over 900 Department of Housing Development and Preservation violations but that number has fallen to below 180 violations. While there are fewer violations, HPD still has serious “C” class complaints on file.
The Neighborhood Initiatives Development Corporation, a loca tenant-advocacy organization, has been working with HPD to address longstanding issues after a fire in six apartments in the fall of 2008 brought attention to the building.
“SG2 made purchases of many properties in the Bronx which had serious violations,” Cathy Soto, of NIDC, said. “It is going to take some time to repair all of the 75 buildings they recently purchased. Many of the buildings have suffered years of neglect at the hands of other landlords.”
Soto said that the tenants of the building are starting to see results, but that more repairs at 750 – 760 Pelham Parkway South are needed to bring the building up to grade.
“There are still 64 “C” violations open, which is a lot considering that there are about 140 units,” Soto said. “They are going apartment by apartment, which is taking some time. We have been working with HPD and Councilman James Vacca in our outreach to the landlord.”
According to Soto, one of the biggest issues with the building is that in the six apartments that were completely rebuilt after the fire, gas for cooking has yet to be turned back on.
“We need a licensed plumber to come in to inspect the utility lines in the refurbished apartments in order to turn on the gas, but this has yet to happen,” Soto said. “People have moved back in.”
Tenant leader Oscar Ruiz said that another longstanding concern is the sidewalk shed put around the outside of the building to repair loose bricks. It has been up for over a year, even though he sees no work being done.
“The landlord mounted scaffolding around the building because bricks had fallen down and they left it here,” Ruiz said.
SG2 Management did not respond to requests for comment.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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