Garodnick: Stuy Town plumbing service has gone down the toilet

Councilmember Dan Garodnick (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Councilmember Dan Garodnick (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

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.

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5 thoughts on “Garodnick: Stuy Town plumbing service has gone down the toilet

  1. My requests for a plumber (multiple times in the past 6 weeks) have been met with a quick response. But they always send a “handyman” first and usually, that just doesn’t take care of the problem. I had an overflowing tank. They replaced the internal mechanism (second visit). The new stopper didn’t fit so I had to push it down after every flush. It was replace (on the second visit). Then it turned into a phantom flush. The stopper was replaced again. Phantom flush continued. Guy returns, claiming the chain length is off; he adjusts the chain and leaves. Ninety minutes later, the phantom flush returns. Call to the office: they don’t have the right parts. Me: Then why did you send someone to install the wrong part? Them: Call in a few weeks. We should have the right parts in. REALLY????

  2. Every tenant who suffers from management’s refusal to send a plumber to a back-up or clog, should hire their own plumber and then deduct the cost from the rent. If enough people did this, it would make management think twice about cheating the tenants out of services they are entitled to. It would be a lot of trouble to them to take a whole army of tenants to Housing Court.
    Why has the TA never addressed this problem with management? In fact, when did the TA ever do anything that was for the benefit of tenants?

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