BINGHAMTON, NY – Bed bugs, cockroaches, raw sewage.
These are just some of the complaints from residents at a notorious housing complex on Binghamton’s Northside that is a constant target of code enforcement and police calls.
Citizen Action held a news conference today outside of Building 18 at Town and Country Apartments demanding that the out-of-town owners be held responsible.
Other complaints include leaking pipes, no or little heat or water, accumulated trash, broken doors and windows and unsafe outdoor conditions.
Resident Johny Saint Hilaire has lived at Town and Country since 1996.
He says it didn’t always used to be this way.
“They used to hear our complaints. They used to take care of issues. We live in this community. We want this community to be better. We want somebody to come here and hear our voice. Hear our opinions,” says Hilaire.
NewsChannel 34 videotaped basement apartments where raw sewage is still on the floor from when it backed up weeks ago.
Those residents were relocated and Assistant Property Manager Antoinette Gueits says management is waiting for an outside disaster response company to come and clean it up.
Gueits says the 22 building complex with 256 apartments has 4 on site maintenance workers who do their best to keep up with repairs.
But she claims many of the complainers call code rather report their problems to management.
She residents cause the sewer backups by flushing garbage including wigs and clothing.
“There’s a lot of hanging out going on here due to the residents that live here have family members that come over and vandalize the hallways and break the glass on front doors. I fix it. We have companies that come in from the outside and fix and then 2 or 3 days later, it’s broke again,” says Gueits.
Gueits says the owners, 257 Partners, does its best to maintain the facilities.
2 years ago, Mayor Rich David announced that the property was to be sold and that the new owner would spend 38 million dollars on renovations.
That deal is now on hold.
A spokesman for the Mayor says the complex continues to be the source of numerous police calls.