Elevator concerns in elderly public housing

Residents of the Frederick Douglass Towers in Buffalo say they’re tired of their unreliable ride.

One woman named Theresa, who didn’t want her last name shared, said, “I don’t even know the last time the elevator was working. Maybe it was working for one day and then it stopped working and then this elevator went out and they didn’t have any elevators.”

The eight-story building on Clinton Street is run by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. Most residents are between 50- and 90-years-old.

Theresa said, “A lot of these people can come down the stairs but they’ll never make it back up.”

Eugene Boyd, a Vietnam veteran, lives on the seventh floor with his wife, who is terminally ill.

He said, “She’s even scared to get on the elevator to come downstairs for therapy because you can’t trust them.”

Friday morning a technician had just finished working on the elevators and when News 4 was there they were both working.

Theresa said, “I came down and I was like ‘Oh my god, they got both elevators working today,’ but that’s not saying how long these are going to work, it might work right now but then by the weekend it’s over.”

With so many frail residents, Boyd said there needs to be a reliable and permanent fix.

“This is an ongoing problem, we can’t get anyone to respond to it correctly, it’s like a joke,” he explained.

News 4 made several attempts to contact the housing authority to check on whether the issue is resolved for good, but so far our calls have not been returned.

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