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Elderly woman found living in NYCHA housing squalor

January 18, 2013 3:23:30 PM PST
A 93-year-old woman has been living in squalor in public housing.

She says her repeated pleas for help to deal with bugs and water leaks have been ignored.

She lives in the Reid Houses in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

"Nobody came sir," said Mary Chamber, a NYCHA resident.

The 93-year-old retired nurse has a list of work orders she says she filed with Housing Authority to fix her roach-infested, water-logged apartment:

"So when they use water upstairs, the water floods down here," Chamber said.

That has forced Ms. Chambers to pile her belongings on her bed and place pots on the kitchen floor.

"It's water damage. It goes under my bed. I sleep over water, not lying," Chamber said.

Off-the-shelf bug spray is no match for the swarm of bugs crawling around her apartment and, at night, on her.

"I call and I call. They say they're coming and they never come," Chamber said.

Ms. Chamber's neighbor finally got so worried about the deteriorating conditions, and so frustrated by NYCHA's failure to fix things, that she reached out to Eyewitness News.

"The water, the condition of the building, the kitchen, the sink. That's what I'm saying they could have helped her," said Alice Robertson, a neighbor.

Management at the Reid Houses didn't want to talk.

"I hope you don't have that on," a NYCHA worker said.

"Well, we do we're trying to get some answers here. She's in an apartment in total disrepair and unhealthy," said Jim Hoffer, Eyewitness News investigative reporter.

"Talk to public affairs office," the NYCHA worker said.

"Have you or anyone been in the apartment to fix it?" Hoffer asked.

"No I haven't," the worker said.

The lack of care by housing management coupled with Ms. Chamber's struggle to care for herself has created an unhealthy and perhaps dangerous condition.

"That woman is going to end up dying in that bed in there," Robertson said.

"This is unhealthy?" Hoffer asked.

"It is, I've never lived this way!" Chamber said.

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