Allen tenants call for repairs

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A group of Jamaica tenants of buildings owned by the Greater Allen AME Cathedral’s affordable housing wing are calling on the church to adhere to a court order that mandated repairs to their decrepit edifice.

Allen Affordable Housing was ordered by Queens Housing Court in April to repair several parts of 163-19 109th Ave., including the broken roof, unstable boiler and girder by Saturday, according to court papers.

Those repairs did not take place over the weekend and tenants who have to deal with the housing group, such as Joyce Thomas, said Allen has been deliberately holding out so the renters will be forced out of their home.

“They keep telling me they have plans and permits, but they haven’t done anything,” she said.

Representatives at Greater Allen AME could not be reached for comment as of press time Tuesday. Thomas said the group has said it does not have the funds for the full repairs.

The situation is part of an ongoing battle between the tenants and Allen Affordable, which purchased the 109th Avenue building and other properties at 107-05 Sutphin Blvd. and 89-06 138th St. for $1 in 2006. Allen made the purchases with the intent of providing full-scale renovations.

Since that time, few repairs have been made and Thomas said she and her neighbors’ complaints fall on deaf ears. Thomas’ building has four buildings violations listed for boiler problems, work without permits, illegal dwellings and failure to maintain the building wall, according to the city Department of Buildings.

The tenants of all of the buildings have led several protests outside Greater Allen and continue to fight for the repairs to be made.

“They’re just lying and procrastinating and trying to not comply with the judge’s order,” said Fredrick Jones, the sole tenant at the Sutphin Boulevard building.

Thomas said she has taken her complaints about the delayed repairs to the Housing Court judge and was given an adjournment date for Sept. 15, but noted that Allen Affordable has been given enough time to sort out its matters.

“They are not doing anything for the community,” she said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Updated 6:10 pm, October 10, 2011
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