Lynne Patton Tours NYCHA’s Fenimore Lefferts Houses

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Prospect Lefferts Gardens/East Flatbush – This morning Lynne Patton was on tour at her new temporary home in Brooklyn.

Patton, who is the regional director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, moved in last night with Leonard and Gwendolyn Jones who reside in one of 36 apartments at the Fenimore Lefferts Houses. She’ll be staying a few days as she has over the last few weeks in Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan getting first-hand experiences of what it’s like to live at a NYCHA property.

Fenimore Lefferts houses is a small 2-story NYCHA development that was constructed in 1969 and consists of 18 buildings and a total of just 36 apartments at two locations – 12 buildings at Fenimore just off Troy Ave, and 6 on Lefferts just off Nostrand Ave.

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In 2016, according to NYCHA development databook, Fenimore Lefferts was providing an affordable home to about 104 residents who paid an average gross monthly rent of $658.78 per apartment, plus their own electricity. The property is managed by Reid Apartments as part of a cluster of NYCHA developments in the area.

Ms. Green of Fenimore Lefferts development. KadiaGoba/ Bklyner

Residents like Ms. Green complained of long waits when contacting NYCHA for repairs. The 78-year-old lives alone but does have her son check up on her from time to time.

Ms. Green’s bathroom. Kadia Goba / Bklyner

A set of issues unique to this location concern sewage – their sewage lines back up often flooding the basements of the low-rise buildings. Fatbergs and outdoor debris aid in causing the buildup. Residents said housing officials come a week after a complaint is made but there is no ongoing maintenance to avoid the problem.

“A lot of these basements backup and sometimes if the sewage is doors away, I can smell it in my apartment,” said Jones who has lived at the development since 1981.

Lynn Patton holds her breath at the stench from urine and feces in a hallway at Fenimore Lefferts Houses. Kadia Goba/Bklyner

At the end of the tour, Patton noted that while the issues that surfaced once again were nothing new, that she looked forward to the federal monitor and overhauling work order system, hiring more permanent workers rather than paying overtime to union staff, stop leasing and start buying boilers and such.

Earlier in the week, the Trump administration announced cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The new budget would cut HUD’s discretionary spending by more than 16.4 percent from 2019, impacting NYCHA considerably as one of the largest beneficiaries of HUD funding.

Reporters asked Patton about the slated cuts and its impact on NYCHA.

“I’m willing to push back on anything that I don’t think will be beneficial to the residents,” Patton said. “However, what I will not do is advocate for more money that an irresponsible grossly mismanaged culture of corruption like NYCHA has been.”

Additional reporting by Liena Zagare

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2 COMMENTS

  1. i truly believe that nycha needs to allow non tenants apply for the nycha jobs as well they need workers, it does not make sense how nycha does not allow no tenants to apply for their jobs & also supetvisiors need to step up their game in making sure that repairs & cleaning are being done on daily basis

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