In a jolting example of adding bureaucratic insult to Mother Nature's injury, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is being accused of serving eviction notices to public housing tenants four days after Hurricane Sandy devastated the city.
The New York Daily News reports that four days after the Oct. 29 hurricane damaged the city's shoreline communities, a NYCHA process server plastered eviction notices on the apartment doors of the tenants at the Surfside Gardens Houses in Coney Island. The hurricane-damaged complex was without heat, hot water and electrical power at the time, and elderly tenants who could not walk down the stairways were trapped on upper floors.
Edward Josephson, director of litigation for NYC Legal Services, accused NYCHA of misguided priorities and insensitivity.
‘It's really ridiculous,’ says Josephson. ‘At the very time they were unable to send people out there to see if people were dying or not, they were able to send people to serve notice of evictions.’
NYCHA officials responded to the Daily News report by claiming the eviction notices were already being processed before the hurricane, but that the notices are covered by a subsequent moratorium that suspends housing court actions on properties affected by the hurricane until next year.