Tenants at Smith Houses Allege Retaliation by NYCHA; Lawsuit Filed (Updated 5:44 p.m.)

smith houses lawsuit newser

A news conference was held this morning near Robert Wagner Place and Pearl Street.

For the past three years, monthly gas outages have been a way of life at the Alfred E. Smith Houses, a 12-building complex along the East River.   Water damage from a leaky roof has made life miserable for residents of the large public housing complex.  Aixa Torres, Smith’s tenant president, was heartened several months ago when the New York City Housing Authority finally signaled it would begin making desperately needed repairs.  But then something changed, Torres said, and the projects were put on terminal hold.  That “something,” she asserts, was the tenant association’s decision to oppose NYCHA’s plan to build luxury housing on a parking lot and athletic field at Smith.  This morning, tenants, their attorneys and community activists held a news conference to discuss a lawsuit they have filed against the housing authority demanding that repairs be made without delay.