For more than six years, Hollis Court Tenants Association President Marilyn Mays said she and her fellow residents in the apartment house have been living through hell because her mysterious landlord has neglected the complex.
In her latest effort to try to improve the residential development, the community activist invited elected officials and representatives from state and city agencies last Thursday to personally see the deterioration and try to find a way to fix it.
Mays said she is concerned the owner of the building, a group only known as 202 St. Inc., is trying to force out tenants of the 54 apartments enclosed by 202nd and 203rd streets and 109th and Hollis avenues so that it can tear down the rent-stabilized complex and build luxury condos, according to Mays.
As a result, requests for repairs, like broken walls, leaky roofs and poor water service, have gone unanswered, leaving the tenants with living in poor conditions.
“This area constantly floods,” Mays told the entourage made up of state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans), representatives from the city Department of Buildings, city Department of Housing Preservation and Development and state Division of Housing & Community Renewal.
Mays and her tenants have led several rallies against the landlord over the years. In 2006, police were called in when the residents protested against the landlord, Josef Cohen, for his lax maintenance of the apartments.
The DOB lists the current owner as Raul Trimino, but he could not be reached for comment as of press time Tuesday. The DOB has issued violations for several of the buildings for problems such as plumbing and failure to maintain the walls, but they have not been paid or addressed, according to the agency.
Some of the apartments have been issued stop-work orders for construction that was being done illegally by the landlord and Mays said the group was using that as an excuse to not fix the problems.
“They are still torturing us,” she said.
A DOB representative said even with stop-work orders landlords could still be permitted to do maintenance work to prevent serious damage in buildings.
Smith said he was disgusted by the sight of the buildings’ conditions and asked the representatives from the buildings agencies to look into the owner and why he continues to avoid serious fines.
“I want to have a meeting like this with the owner,” he said. “We will work with the agencies to get the repairs done.”
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2010 Community News Group
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