‘Right this wrong’: Diaz Jr. says NYCHA evicted tenant recovering from amputation

Posted: Updated:

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called a news conference Thursday to draw attention to a senior New York City Housing Authority tenant who was evicted while recovering from emergency surgery.

Bienvenido Martinez, 72, is currently recovering from a recent leg amputation and is now homeless. NYCHA is accused of evicting the man while he was in rehab, believing that his unit was abandoned.

During the eviction, Martinez’s belongings were apparently thrown out – including his birth certificate, his state identification card and his Social Security card.

“They did not have the decency to put his furniture and his belongings in a storage facility,” said Diaz Jr.

Martinez was admitted into emergency surgery in May 2018. Three months later, NYCHA notified him that he was being evicted for failure to pay $816 in rent.

According to Martinez's caseworkers at the Beth Abraham Center for Rehabilitation, they reached out to NYCHA to cease all eviction proceedings. By December, his unit was completely emptied.

In a letter, Diaz Jr. asked NYCHA CEO Kathryn Garcia for a new apartment and compensation for his loss of possessions.

Martinez has been able to stay at Beth Abraham, but is ready to return home.

NYCHA says they are unable to comment on an individual residents' lease agreement, but they will work with the resident to restore his tenancy.

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