Comment Of The Week: 156 India Street
Filed under: 11222, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic
I guess I’m late in responding to this, but my then gf & now wife lived at 156, in the back house. I should state that I am a structural engineer. The first time I went there, happy to be invited back to a new girl’s house for the first time, I was absolutely floored by the condition of both buildings on the property.
There were holes in the front house that birds had happily nested in. The hole thing had an odd slant to it. Her friends who lived there asked me if I could do anything, but I knew that reporting it would get the place condemned, leaving them with no place to go and moderate fines for the Owner. Which is pretty much what happened.
My wife moved in with me to a nice place a few blocks away last year, but one of her friends stayed, only to come home to fire trucks & police in front of her house one night. She was given a small window to get her stuff & find a new place to live. As a younger single woman with family & friends in the area, she ended up ok, but there were families in the building who had been there for over 10 years, and I know one Polish family had a profoundly disabled wheelchair ridden child. I can’t imagine what they did.
That there is often no significant penalty to owners/landlords like this is just wrong. There should be criminal penalties associated with this type of abuse.
Yes there should be, but our city doesn’t seem to be too keen on defending the rights of lowly renters. If they were real go-getters they’d own a condo by now.
I am not a go-getter. I rent. As do great number of people in this neighborhood. We cannot afford a down payment on a $500,000 condominium and as a result we place our trust in landlords. They are the guardians of our personal safety. Unfortunately all too many of them are like Mr. Nealis.* When landlords fail, we call 311. To little avail. This city should be ASHAMED of itself.
*Who I am certain would love to have this lot demolished. It’s probably worth more without rent-stabilized housing on it.