Categorized | Housing

1636-1640 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd

By Jose Leyva

The tenants at 1636 and 1640 Martin Luther King Blvd. in Morris Heights share the same architectural design and the same entrance, along with the same complaint about their landlord. They say the company connected to Hunter Property management that currently owns the buildings is neglecting maintenance of them.

Since November, 2008, the tenants of the two buildings have filed 297 complaints with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

According to 10 of the residents, most of their demands for improvements have not been met. Last winter, the 50 apartments in the two, five-story buildings that were built in 1915 did not have hot water or heat for two weeks, according to HPD records.

“That was my main complaint and it’s my main worry for this winter,” said Luis Correa, a 33-year-old former superintendent at 1640.

Correa stopped paying his $340 monthly rent recently. Five other residents followed suit.

Since Sept. 21, 2009 to now, Correa has filed more than 20 complaints with HPD about everything from water leaks, holes on the ceiling, unusable electrical wiring and a rat infestation.

“They simply don’t care about the building.” said Melinda Thompson, who lives in apartment 2A. Thompson’s main concern is the mold in her bathroom and kitchen. She offers complaints to the current superintendent, but nothing gets fixed.

From the street, the two buildings look as if they are in good condition. On closer look, their entrance doors are unsecured. One is missing a glass pane. The two buildings have 30 open violations with the city’s Department of Buildings.

“We are now forming a tenants’ association to try to get the landlord to court,” said Miriam Maldonado, the leader of the group that represents both buildings.

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