Jumaane Williams talks to renters as rent laws expiration date approaches

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

New York City’s public advocate spoke with residents in Concourse Village Monday about their current living conditions as the rent laws expiration date approaches.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams made a stop in the Bronx on his five-borough housing tour.

"We wanna make sure that the tenants’ voices are heard because very often when people speak about rent regulations, they are speaking very technically. They are speaking theoretically but these are real people,” said Williams.

People who live in an East 164th Street building explained to Williams the conditions they have been surrounded by.

One mother living in the building says that 17 rats were taken out from her walls. She says those unhealthy living conditions caused her daughter to end up in the hospital. She says her apartment smelled like a morgue.

Ann Marchena, who lives with her three daughters, now has permanent doors in her walls to continue to remove rats.

"My 5-year-old has been having nose bleeds for about a year. She wakes up bleeding out her nose due to the smell in my house and my 18-year-old has been spitting up blood,” she says.

Other complaints included a man who was displaced for almost a year after a fire in his apartment.

Residents say they are also afraid they may become homeless due to raises in rent.

Williams says he hopes to improve tenants’ rights.

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