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Thursday 17 August 2017

'It is horrible -- we have rats and cockroaches'

Graeme Massie in New York

MOTHER-of-two Luz Castro pays $1,000 (€780) a month for a mould-infested one-bedroom apartment in one of the buildings owned by Shawn Curry.

The apartment block, at Lorillard Place in the Bronx, was listed on New York's Worst Landlords Watchlist.

When this newspaper visited yesterday, our reporter found an immediate stench of rotting garbage, half-drunk bottles of beer scattered around the hallways and flies and cockroaches everywhere.

Mrs Castro (31), who shares the apartment with her husband Alberto, 10-year-old son Edberto and two-year-old daughter Edith Marie, said she was worried about the impact on her children's health.

"We have all had breathing problems, it is horrible," she said. "There are rats and cockroaches in the apartment. We complain but nothing is ever done."

Although workmen could be seen carrying out renovations at the building and at another Bronx apartment block owned by Mr Curry, residents said the pace of change was slow.

A rat-infested debris mound of black garbage bags rotting in the hot sunshine at the rear of Mr Curry's building on Bainbridge Avenue could be smelled in the apartment.

Residents complained that the common areas were rarely cleaned and that drug users congregated in the courtyard outside.

Enriqueta Garzon (33), said: "There have been some repairs recently, but it is still not so good. If I could live elsewhere, then of course I would."

Irish Independent

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