BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Residents of the Pine Harbor Apartments staged a rally Thursday to protest their living conditions.
Tenants of the housing complex located within two blocks of Buffalo City Hall claim their problem is neglect by the New York City based owners.
Protesters said the 208-unit development is plagued by mice, water leaks, mold, and structural defects.
Records show Pine Harbor is owned by an Albany-based company called Harborview Presevation LLC which is a subsidiary of The Related Companies, Inc.–a real estate investment trust based in New York City–which the tenants point out, has received millions of dollars in tax breaks.
Freda Nalls showed pictures of dead mice caught in traps maintenance workers had set in her apartment, but they left it up to her to remove them.
“I have mices coming out of the heater, the kitchen, they are on top of my refrigerator, and they have been sent three letters from Section 8 to do the repairs.”
But many times the repairs don’t get done, and the tenants say they have to suffer because of it.
If repairs are not done, Nalls said their Section 8 rent subsidies might be withheld.
“But Section 8 said if I don’t move out of that apartment they would not pay my rent. I can’t afford to pay the rent, so I have to move out of there.”
John Washington, an organizer for People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH), said it is a case of “eviction by neglect,” by the owners.
“They have a duty to protect the habitability for these residents, and they have failed that duty for 10 straight years.”
News 4 reached out to the management for Pine Harbor Apartments for comment, without success.
But one of the local housing agencies that administers the government’s Section 8 rent subsidies said they have found very few deficiencies, that went unresolved, at Pine Harbor.