Late last week we posted about the residents of a damaged Bushwick building unable to return to their apartments; since then a resident shared more details about the situation there. Eight families vacated the building at 420 Melrose more than one month ago after nearby excavation caused cracks in the building. The photo above is from inside the apartment building, where looters have gone through the resident’s stuff and stolen some of it. The resident who started the 420 Melrose Twitter account explains the situation:
“We were never given an opportunity to go in and get things. The landlord is still holding our security deposit and half a month’s rent hostage while we all try and figure out individually where to live… Some people have moved to new places, some people are staying with friends, some people have just moved back home to places like Texas. For a move in, it seems like the landlord doesn’t have as much interest in getting us back in as he has in flipping the building and jacking up the rent.
As for the DOB, we’re filing tort claims, which you have to file if you want to pursue any action at any time against a city agency, but generally we have been redirected to any number of city agencies that were only able to individually offer us space in a no-kitchen, shared bathroom homeless shelter. That’s really about all the city offers in terms of protections for people that this kind of thing happens to. DOB seems pretty mum right now in general. It’s impossible to get a straight answer in regards to timelines.”
This past Sunday the DOB allowed residents to enter the building and they will return next weekend to take everything besides furniture, as the building is not stable enough to remove it. The tenants have hired a lawyer and are doing a fundraiser in the next week or so to cover the retainer costs, which we will keep you updated about.
420 Melrose Place Residents Still Homeless [Brownstoner]
Bushwick Buildings Evacuated After Cracks Appear [Brownstoner]