Inadequate Security in NYC Housing Projects

Safety is a necessity, not a luxury that only those who can afford it are entitled to. A recent article in the New York Times, indicated that a large number of New Yorkers are targets of crime in their own apartment buildings. Due to inadequate security in the Housing Authority projects all over New York City, an increasing number of crimes are taking place in the elevators in these apartment complexes. Victims are not only victims of these physical crimes, but also of landlord negligence and inadequate security. People have a right to feel safe in their own building. If you a loved one has been a victim of an assault or rape in a NYC Housing Project or other apartment building , you should contact an inadequate security / Premise Liability attorney who can help you obtain justice and financial compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering ,lost wages or medical bills. Additionally, if you were injured due to a malfunctioning elevator, a slippery or a broken floor, a collapsed ceiling or wall, Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum is experienced in recovering full and fair compensation for those who have suffered serious injuries in these cases.

Police have admitted that crimes occurring in New York City Housing Authority projects are a common occurrence and that on a square foot basis a disproportionate number of crimes have taken place in elevators. An example cited in the N.Y. Times article was that of a 13-year-old who was sexually assaulted in an elevator in South Jamaica Houses this past summer. Another was a 23-year-old woman and her boyfriend who were jumped by a group of drunken men who threw beer bottles at them, and then proceeded to steal her wallet and her boyfriend’s jacket. “If I could take the stairs I would,” she said.

As proof of how dangerous NYCHA buildings have become , the NYPD  compiled a video montage of elevator crimes to teach predator behavior  “You’ve got your victim in a box. As the bad guy, you’ve got complete control over the situation, and that’s really what you want if you prey on people,” said Peter Cestare, a former supervisor in the NYPD.

More about the New York City Housing Authority apartments

More than 600,000 people live in New York City Housing Authority apartments. If NYCHA was a city instead of a public housing authority, it would rank number 21 according to population in the United States. Created in 1934 and now the largest public housing authority in North America, the NYCHA offers rental apartments to low- and moderate-income New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs. Most of the post-World War II building has produced units of 1,000 apartments in each.

Security has always been a concern in such huge complexes. All these so-called projects or developments are covered by the NYPD Housing Bureau. It has nine Police Service Areas, known as PSAs, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens, and one Staten Island Housing Unit (SIHU). At a recent NYC public forum, project tenants and others gathered to complain about the lack of adequate security. Among their complaints was that although $42 million was made available a year ago to install NYCHA security cameras, not one is yet in use. Though the names are frequently drawn from famous Americans like Jacob Riis on Manhattan’s lower east side or the “Taft Houses “in Harlem, these NYCHA buildings now have the  reputation of being potentially dangerous territory for single women or senior citizens. Criminal predators routinely target those they perceive as being defenseless. The fact that the door locks on many housing project entrances and exits are broken make it all to easy for them to slip in and out of what they unfortunately turn into “crime scenes”.

Other complaints about security have been voiced around the city. According to a recent survey of project tenants, more than 60% feel insecure in their homes. Less than half report a working intercom system in their buildings. Broken locks and no security cameras are standard complaints. One NYCHA tenant reported that she feels so unsafe in her project that she walks around carrying a hammer. Chief Joanne Jaffe, who is in charge of the police offers in the housing units, spoke about the video montage used in police training. “When I watch this,” she said, “I think, ‘How can people live with this amount of fear, just entering into their building?”

Contact a Landlord Negligence Attorney

Every person has a right to feel safe where they live. It is a landlord’s responsibility to ensure that you are living in a safe environment. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an assault, rape  or  any other type of injury in a New York City Housing Authority building , contact the law office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum, an experienced Brooklyn Premise Liability and Inadequate Security Lawyer, at (718) 237-5586 for a Free Consultation. There is never a charge for a case evaluation. There is only a fee if Mr. Kestenbaum  recovers money for your injuries.  He is located at 26 Court Street, Suite 1806, opposite Brooklyn Supreme Court.

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