Rats plague Allerton Coops – New York Daily News

tenants in the Allerton Coops say they are under Siege by a major rat infestation, and management has turned a blind eye.Jennifer H. Cunningham

Tenants in the Allerton Coops say they are under siege by a major rat infestation, and management hasn’t fixed the problem.




THE Coops are going to the rats.


The Allerton Coops are under siege by an army of large, aggressive rodents, and tenants are blaming what they call a band-aid response by management for the infestation.


“When I saw an albino rat crossing the street, looking out my kitchen window, I said, ‘The rats are taking over,’” said longtime tenant LaVerne Underdue, 72. “You’ll see the garbage bags moving.”


The Daily News went on rat patrol inside the Coops Monday evening, and spotted the filthy pests scurrying out of some of the hundreds of large holes that now dot the grounds of the 736-unit complex.




Some of the holes have been covered with bricks by maintenance workers, but tenants said the rats simply dig more.


One tenant, who lives on the first floor of the complex and asked that her name not be used, said she trapped two rats in as many weeks in her kitchen last month.


“It’s scary,” said the 33-year-old mother of three, who has a baby in the apartment. “I was worried and just disgusted.”



Coops residents filed more than a dozen rat complaints from with the city through 311 last year, records showed.


The topic even came up late last month when Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, City Councilman Ritchie Torres and police from the 49th Precinct sat down with residents to field complaints about gun violence, prostitution and drugs in the sprawling complex.


Neither the owner, Chaim Schweid, nor the property manager Naftali Levenbrown returned calls for comment Tuesday.




A receptionist at the Allerton Ave. offices of the Bronx Park East management company said Levenbrown was too busy on Tuesday to answer questions about the severe infestation.


“It is a big concern and a big problem,” said Gjonaj, who plans to meet with the landlord. “Of all the issues, it’s something that can be addressed and controlled.”


Torres said he’s taking the nightmarish complaints to the city Department of Health.




The tenants, meanwhile, said the vile conditions in the landmarked Coops were undermining its storied past as a well-kept, blue-collar community for the garment workers who fled the slums of the Lower East Side.


“This used to be a village,” said Underdue, who has lived in the Coops more than 50 years. “I want the village back. It’s terrible.”


jcunningham@nydailynews.com

Rats plague Allerton Coops – New York Daily News
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