Nonprofit overseeing Bronx apartment where toddlers died racked up hundreds of violations

BEDCO had 185 open violations at nearby 1055 University Ave. in the Bronx

1055 University Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: Property Shark)
1055 University Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: Property Shark)

The nonprofit group that operated a Bronx apartment where two babies died from lethal steam burns had as many as 185 open violations at a separate site it supposedly managed.

Following the deaths of Ibanez and Scylee Ambrose, investigators discovered that the Bushwick Economic Development Corp. (BEDCO) had unresolved violations at 1055 University Avenue in the Bronx, a “cluster site” the the city leases for homeless families. The girls were scalded by a faulty radiator at An Apartment On Hunts Point Avenue.

Investigators from the state Senate Independent Democratic Conference found that BEDCO’s violations included mold, lead paint and rodent and roach infestations; some apartments had no smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. According to the report, 38 of 41 cluster sites used by the city for homeless families had open violations.

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In December, DNAinfo reported that a Brooklyn landlord repeatedly warned the city that the nonprofit BEDCO routinely ignored safety and maintenance warnings. The landlord, Kai Management, says the Department of Homeless Services ignored its warnings.

A report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer last month that more than half of the 16,026 open violations at all the city’s cluster sites are in buildings owned by just 11 landlords. Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on getting rid of cluster sites, but the number of units has risen during his tenure as mayor.  [NYP]E.B. Solomont