Low-income tenants face tough legal battle against Briarwood

Developer says damage was caused by tenants
February 14, 2017 09:15AM

The Solara in the Bronx and Waters Edge at Arverne in the Rockaways

Residents at co-op complexes in the Bronx and in the Rockaways have accused the Briarwood Organization of shoddy construction — but they are finding that pursuing those claims is an uphill battle.

The residents at the Solara Cooperative in the Bronx and Waters Edge at Arverne in the Rockaways claim that their homes suffered water damage due to improperly installed roofs, windows and doors, Crain’s reported. The Queens-based affordable developer, however, maintains that the projects were built up to code and any damage was likely caused by residents. Many of the residents purchased their units through a city program that helps low-income residents become homeowners. But the city isn’t a party to these lawsuits — nor does it seem eager to intervene — and the tenants’ legal bills continue to climb.

“If the city is going to [use] millions in taxpayer dollars, then they have the responsibility to ensure the money is being properly spent,” Leonard Yarde, president of the condo board at Waters Edge at Arverne, told Crain’s. “They do not get to walk away.”

Councilman Donovan Richards recently held a press conference outside Waters Edge, calling on the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to deny Briarwood more work until the issues are addressed. A deal has not yet been reached. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel