NYC Housing Can’t Fix Queens Family’s Rat and Roach Problem


By The Daily News

If reading a story about an apartment overrun by bugs and rodents makes your skin crawl — imagine living there.

Cockroaches skitter up the walls and across the floors of the first-floor apartment at the Queensbridge Houses. They’re in every room — above your head, at your feet, behind you. They dash across utensils inside kitchen drawers and flee the oven en masse when the heat goes on.

And the roaches sit brazenly on a sippy cup and crawl slowly in and around a baby’s crib.

Then there’s the black water reeking of sewage that on occasion bubbles up from the drain in the bathtub and the sink, sometimes erupting from the toilet like a fetid volcano.

Occasionally mice skip by or can be found nibbling on electrical wires and leaving their droppings behind. Once there was a dead rat in the back of a closet.

This is how Warda Ibrahim, 36, and her husband, Tarek Aly, 51, have lived with their nine children — between 2 months and 19 years old — ever since the Housing Authority claimed they’d “fixed” the apartment’s many problems in the summer of 2016.

“There’s, like, a lot of roaches. A lot. Seriously,” says the oldest daughter, Reham Aly, 19. “Everywhere. In the clothes. In the closets. Everywhere.”

Near where she sits a dozen empty Raid canisters are stacked on top of a refrigerator. Each one cost $5.19.

The family says that in the summer of 2016, they bombarded NYCHA with multiple complaints about the same issues — vermin and bugs and dirty water.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Queens) got involved, and in a June 2016 letter to NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye, he specifically noted “the apartment is infested with mice and roaches.”

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