Archive for the tag 'nostrand houses'

The Sheepshead-Nostrand Houses. Photo by Robert Fernandez

The Sheepshead-Nostrand Houses. Photo by Robert Fernandez

Tenants of the Sheepshead Bay’s Nostrand Houses (2955 Avenue W) say their landlord, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), has failed to deliver heat as the temperatures plummeted in recent weeks.

The “heat season” began October 1. That’s the time when landlords in New York City are required to keep apartments at a minimum of 68 degrees during the day when temperatures drop below 55. At night, when temperatures dip below 40 degrees, it must be at least 55 indoors. The season lasts until the end of May.

But the area’s tenants say that when temperatures dipped into the 40s last week and over the weekend, many had to turn on stoves and use space heaters, reports News 12.

One resident says she ended up with the fire department at her home on Saturday because of a carbon monoxide leak caused by leaving her stove on. She says on Sunday, her space heater that was plugged into an extension cord almost caught on fire.

NYCHA told the news outlet that it is following heat guidelines at all of its residences, but promised to look into the situation.

Whether you’re a NYCHA resident or a tenant in a private building, if you think your landlord is keeping the temperature below what’s legally required you can call 311 and file a complaint. If inspected and issued a violation, fines can be as much as $1,000 per day.

Do you live in the Sheepshead – Nostrand Houses? Has the heat situation improved? Let us know.

Source: Google Maps

Source: Google Maps

An elderly woman was arrested after she allegedly tossed it down the trash chute of her Batchelder Street building, causing injuries that led to its death.

Cops were called to 2334 Batchelder Street in the Sheepshead – Nostrand Houses at around 5pm on Tuesday, after a neighbor heard the canine’s cries echoing up the shaft leading to the trash compactor.

The Daily News reports:

“She went to throw out the garbage and she heard the dog crying,” [a neighbor] said. “I ran to housing and got (them) to open up where the (compactors) are because the door was locked.”

She said she found the dog bleeding in the bottom of the trash compactor.

“It was bleeding. It was still crying,” she said.

The dog’s owner, who reportedly lives on the fourth floor, was not identified. Police took her into custody for questioning, but she was later released. It is unclear if she will face charges.

The dog was crippled by its injuries and unable to walk. It was rushed to a nearby vet and later transferred to the care of the ASPCA. It had to be euthanized due to its injuries.

The elderly woman was overheard telling police that the dog “made me miserable, I have pain,” as she was put into the back of a police vehicle.


A room available in the Sheepshead Bay Houses (Source: Craigslist via Post)

A New York Post report released over the weekend claims that residents of the Sheepshead Bay Houses on Nostrand Avenue are illegally subletting their taxpayer subsidized apartments for as little as $350 a month.

The Post reports:

Several ads for nightly or monthly sublets were posted on Craigslist last week, including a $650 room in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay Houses — which was swooped up in a few days.

“Huge room available immediately in a 3-bedroom apartment for rent,” the ad says. “Females only . . . no drugs, no smoking, no drama.”

The tenant, who listed a cellphone number and a New York City Housing Authority address, declared that two people could also share the room for $350 each.

… Meanwhile, another Sheeps­head Bay tenant posted “$400 public housing room for rent” on Craigslist on Dec. 11.

“If you are looking for a cheap furnished room then here you have it,” the resident wrote, adding, “[Two] month rent required to move in. First come first served.”

Only people authorized by the New York City Housing Authority may live in a NYCHA apartment, and those who break the rules can be fined and given the boot.

Meanwhile, 160,000 families are on NYCHA’s waiting list, and 55,000 tenants have been places in apartments that are too large for their needs.


The New York City Housing Authority announced this week that they’ve made tremendous strides in slashing the number of backlogged maintenance complaints in city-owned housing complexes, following a scathing “Hall of Shame”-style watchlist released by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio that named three Southern Brooklyn housing projects as among the worst in the city.

According to the agency, they have reduced the number of outstanding complaints by more than half since an initiative kicked off in January, and reduced the average wait time by nearly one month.

“As a result of NYCHA’s Action Plan to improve its accountability and efficiency in responding to maintenance and repair work orders, we are pleased to report that the number of open maintenance and repair work orders has been reduced from 422,639 on January 1, 2013, to 197,134 as of August 1, 2013,” NYCHA announced in a release issued this week. “This reduction of 225,505 work orders positions NYCHA to achieve its goal of eliminating the backlog by the end of 2013 and have only 90,000 open work orders at the end of the year.”

According to the agency, 90,000 work orders represents the number of work orders it would have if it handled maintenance requests in an average of seven days and more complex requests in an average of 15 days. According to de Blasio’s list,, the average work order request sits for 282 days without action, or more than nine months.

In the release, NYCHA pinned the blame for delayed repair requests on budget shortfalls and resource restraints, which, after coming under fire late last year, they’ve been working to address.

“Focusing on the work order backlog, and dedicating resources even during this tough economic period, has allowed NYCHA to address deficiencies that resulted from years of significant and sustained budget shortfalls,” the agency said, noting that the financial situation may worsen due to sequestration.

At the time of de Blasio’s report, which was based on data from February 15, just weeks after the NYCHA initiative was launched, the agency claimed to have slashed as many as 200,000 outstanding requests. But the public advocate had his doubts about whether or not the agency was truly making all the repairs, or simply canceling out old requests. The watchlist’s about page notes:

 According to the data, more than 50,000 repairs were made in just the first two weeks of February 2013—the equivalent of 3,394 repairs per day. De Blasio warned those numbers suggested the agency was canceling old repair tickets and making quick fixes for the purposes of touting big reductions in its backlog, and urged the agency to prioritize the most critical repairs instead.

According to the agency, they’re doing exactly that kind of prioritization, putting aside aesthetic requests such as those for paint jobs.

“Recognizing that there are limited resources, work that is primarily to improve the appearance of apartments will not be able to be addressed by staff unless the fiscal situation improves. Painting is an example of this new prioritization,” the release notes.

De Blasio’s watchlist placed the Sheepshead Bay Houses, the Nostrand Houses, and the Marlboro Houses near the top of the list, at numbers 19, 22 and 41 respectively. They’re also pinned as the worst of 13 NYCHA complexes in Southern Brooklyn, with thousands of outstanding complaints among them, and an average of 240 to 349 days of inaction.

The chart at the top of this article, provided by NYCHA, shows that maintenance crews, contractors and specialists have been able to tackle anywhere between 450 jobs to 2,013 jobs a day.

At the Sheepshead Bay Houses, one resident has taken notice of the work, sending us photos of asbestos abatement signs and construction work permits. However, as we previously reported, she was unsettled at the lack of communication between the agency and residents, citing their inability to answer basic questions about the work. She also sent in this photo, noting that the complex was surrounded in unsightly fencing.

“[It's] like we’re being trapped in,” she wrote.


Are you a NYCHA resident? Are repairs being made in a more timely manner? Tell us about your experience!


Photo by Robert Fernandez

With residents waiting for more than four years to see repairs to chipped paint, broken floors, smashed windows and malfunctioning electrical outlets – among thousands of other complaints – the Sheepshead Bay-Nostrand Houses are among the most neglected buildings under the New York City Housing Authorities’ management, according to a new “Hall of Shame” list produced by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

The two housing complexes, Sheepshead Bay Houses (2935 Avenue W) and Nostrand Houses (2263 Batchelder Street), rank 19th and 22nd worst, respectively, out of 349 NYCHA properties in the city, putting them roughly in the top sixth percentile. The rankings were revealed on Friday with the launch of, a Hall of Shame-style initiative by de Blasio to draw attention to the agency’s neglect of scores of properties throughout the city. The list came after it was revealed that NYCHA hit a peak of 420,000 backlogged complaints in January.

“Our public housing got this bad, in part, because there is zero accountability. NYCHA is a black box. Tenants deserve to know that their ceilings will actually get patched or that mold will actually be removed,” said de Blasio in a press release. “We’re going to use the watch list to hold NYCHA’s feet to the fire.”

Screenshot of the watchlist.

Screenshot of the watchlist.

The website provides a detailed, sortable list of every outstanding complaint in each housing project, as well as the number of days residents have waited for action.

The Sheepshead Bay Houses’ 2,703 residents have 3,428 maintenance requests that have remained outstanding for an average of 349 days of no action from NYCHA. Almost half the requests (1,559) are for repairs to crumbling ceilings and walls, broken doors, and uprooted floors, for which the average number of days outstanding is 349. Residents wait the longest, 458 days on average, for a fresh coat of paint, which accounts for slightly over a quarter of complaints. But 122 complaints about pests including rats and roaches have sat unaddressed for an average of 250 days, and at least one unlucky tenant has had to live with vermin for nearly three years without a response from NYCHA.

The Nostrand Houses, home to 2,459 people, have 3,367 complaints outstanding, for an average of 318 days.  Similar to the Sheepshead Houses, interior repairs to walls, ceilings and floors account for nearly half the complaints (1,515, waiting for an average of 349 days), and just over a quarter are comprised of requests for paint jobs (852, waiting for an average of 390 days). Residents also complain about leaky pipes and water trickling through the ceilings, for which they’ve been forced to wait for an average of 273 days, with the longest request – repairs to a shower – having gone unaddressed for more than three years.

The list reveals that more than 5,000 of the area’s residents are not only under neglectful management from NYCHA, but face the risk of tragedy every day. Between the two buildings, 47 requests for asbestos and lead removal, repairs to the fire sprinklers and suppression systems, and the replacement of fire extinguishers, have gone ignored for an average of 250 days, with the longest outstanding complaint being on file with the agency for 568 days.

The two properties are the worst of the 13 NYCHA houses in Southern Brooklyn, and among the worst in the borough, according to the website.

Making matters worse, the agency appears to do a terrible job communicating with residents about even those maintenance issues they are working on. After they came under fire in January, NYCHA has attempted to tackle more then 200,000 of the complaints – yet doesn’t appear to be able to answer residents’s questions. Two weeks ago, for example, NYCHA posted signs in the Sheepshead Houses warning residents of asbestos abatement, but failed to note where in the building it was and what risk, if any, it posed to residents.

Story continues after photo.


Source: Cookie Ann

That caused concern for Cookie Ann, one of the housing projects’ residents, and mother to a young asthmatic.

“I’m scared my son is already asthmatic and now has a nasty upper respiratory infection,” she told Sheepshead Bites.

When she tried to call the agency to find out what was going on, she said they had no record of work being done in the building.

“I just called housing and they had no clue about asbestos in our building but the city put up signs. Now I’m worried. What can I do?” she said.

Nostrand Houses (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Lawrence Wright, a 55-year-old Sheepshead Bay resident, was arrested yesterday for the stabbing death of 51-year-old Denise Pannell, according to a report by the New York Daily News.

Pannell, who lived at 2238 Batchelder Street, was apparently a former girlfriend of Wright’s, who lived in the same public housing complex, the Sheepshead-Nostrand Houses, on 2985 Avenue X.

According to CBS-NY, Pannell’s lifeless body was discovered on Saturday at 9:20 a.m. after her neighbors complained of a foul smell emanating from her apartment.

This isn’t the first time we’ve reported on violence at this public housing project. Avery Kelly was murdered in front of his apartment door at 2258 Batchelder Street in 2011 and homeless man, Jimmy Albright, was also murdered last year in an elevator at 2953 Avenue W between Nostrand Avenue and Batchelder Street.

As of this publishing, security cameras have still not been installed at the Sheepshead-Nostrand Houses.

Photo by Neil Friedman

The body of a homeless man, who police identified as 32-year-old Jimmy Albright, was discovered inside the elevator of 2953 Avenue W between Nostrand Avenue and Batchelder Street.

After police responded to a 911 call at 7:45 a.m. yesterday morning, the bullet-riddled body of Albright was found inside the elevator of the seven-story Sheepshead-Nostrand Houses building.

According to several reports, authorities are still trying to determine who shot Albright, when exactly the shooting occurred, and why he was in the building in the first place.

This latest murder in the city housing development occurred despite the promise that brand new high-tech security cameras, ID-embedded door locks and new intercom systems would be installed throughout the 18-building complex.

The cameras were supposed to be installed by the first quarter of 2012, with all work finishing no later than March.


Amahal Lynch offered no apologies after a judge sentenced him to 40 years to life for the brutal 2010 murder of his girlfriend and her 8-year-old daughter.

“People make mistakes,” Lynch told the victims’ relatives who demanded a statement, according to the Daily News. “God is good, you know. I repented, you know.”

The crime was revealed in May 2010, when police were called to the scene of a burglary in the Sheepshead-Nostrand Houses. What authorities found were the naked lifeless bodies of Shakeema Elliot, 29, and her daughter Kaliya Williams in the bathtub, and pills scattered around.

But upon further investigation, police concluded that the bodies had been moved and arranged to suggest a murder-suicide, and the medical examiner soon found that both had been strangled to death and the 8-year-old sexually abused.

Lynch admitted to the 2010 double murder after officers nabbed the East New York resident days after the crime.

By confessing and pleading guilty, Lynch avoided a sentence of life without parole.

Photo by Robert Fernandez

The city is proposing to strategically deploy high-tech security measures in the Sheepshead Bay – Nostrand Houses to deter crime, featuring new cameras, ID-embedded door locks and new intercom systems throughout the 18-building complex.

Find out details of the plan, and what residents and local officials think.

Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

When it was announced a few weeks ago that the cash-strapped New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was mulling over the idea to place billboards — possibly for booze and fast food — on the sides of its buildings, residents of the Sheepshead – Nostrand Houses, on Nostrand Avenue between Avenue V and Avenue X, came out against the idea, claiming “it would make many rundown buildings look even worse.”

The Housing Authority quietly circulated notice last week that it’s looking to hire a consultant to advise them on selling advertising space in developments that more than 400,000 people call home.

The unprecedented proposal sparked fears among residents that building lobbies, facades, courtyard benches or trash bins could be plastered with ads touting unhealthy products.

However, “Instead of placing billboards,” one resident told News 12, “we need more cameras for our safety.”

Keep reading to find out what happened – or didn’t happen – to those cameras, and why NYCHA’s alternative will prove a waste of taxpayer money.

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