Sinking South Bronx Homes, Getting More Dangerous


pix11.com | @stephtsoflias

10:10 PM EDT, July 26, 2012



An outdoor stairwell collapsed on a homeowner in the South Bronx in Villa Maria community, where homes are sinking at an alarming rate.

"The ground is no longer level, where concrete is broken," said Julian Gomez.  

Gomez was walking down his winding stairs on Tuesday from his second floor when he felt something snap.

"As I went down the second step, I heard a clank, like breakage, and it just fell and I fell into my neighbor's house," Gomez said.  

Settling soil around his Bronx home on Prospect Avenue has been an unsettling problem for years.  PIX 11 has been following this story of frustration in the Longwood section of the Bronx since last week, when we got a call about sinking homes.

The community, built in the 1990's by a contractor hired by the city to create affordable housing, has has structural issues for close to seven years, according to residents.

The Department of Housing Preservation confirmed that 1.5 million dollars has already been set aside in the city budget for repairs.  But logistics and technicalities have been holding up the money.

Today, Councilwoman Carmen Arroyo told PIX 11 that she is frustrated by the process but "isn't sure what is holding up the money."  In a statement to PIX 11, today DHP said the money is expected to be released shortly.

Homeowners said it has been seven years and they just home the city moves quickly before someone is more seriously hurt.