By Sabina Mollot
For months now, residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village who’ve had plumbing problems have been made to wait longer than they’ve ever had to previously for someone to fix the problem.
Susan Steinberg, president of the Tenants Association, said the issue has been going on since last summer and she has brought up the issue to CWCapital as well as new owner Blackstone. Wait times for plumbers had risen to 10 days, and then recently spiked again to over two weeks or three weeks, Steinberg said.
Last Friday, Council Member Dan Garodnick sent a letter about the plumbing pileups to Jonathan Gray, Blackstone’s global head of real estate, noting that in some cases, residents have gotten so frustrated with the lack of service they’ve sought emergency repairs from the HPD.
“We have seen regular instances of tenants waiting over two weeks for a plumber,” said Garodnick, “not only for basic issues like a clogged drain but also for more urgent matters like dirty water backing up.
“For many tenants the only recourse has been to call the city’s Housing Preservation Department seeking an inspection and an emergency repair from an HPD-hired plumber. That of course wastes city resources, reflects poorly on management — and frustrates tenants to no end.”
He added that as Blackstone prepares for the sale of the property that it should consider the plumbing delays a priority.
Garodnick later said he’s also spoken directly to Blackstone about this “and they are aware of this issue and recognize that it’s something that needs attention.
“Something has changed and they need to deal with it,” he added.
The council member, who said he’s also experienced service delays at his own apartment, suggested that more plumbing staff be hired.
“I think we need to have more people, quite frankly,” he said. “It’s a sign that you don’t have the resources to deal with the problems. The reason I flagged this issue is because I’ve heard complaints from enough people, both casually in the community and through people who call our office to recognize that something has changed.”
This week, Steinberg said tenants have had to wait “an unconscionable amount of time for routine plumbing maintenance.
“Management told tenants they would have to wait two or three weeks for service, while they endure a disgustingly backed up sink, tub or toilet, situations that seem more like emergency plumbing needs that should be attended to within 24 hours,” she said. “This is unacceptable from a property management point of view and needs to be one of the first corrections Blackstone makes after the transition period.”
Brian Moriarty, a spokesperson for CWCapital, did not respond to a request for comment.
Christine Anderson, a spokesperson for Blackstone, didn’t respond to a request for comment, but earlier this month told T&V that the new owner was still in the process of studying the different concerns that have been brought up by residents.