Tenants question new charges by Lackawanna housing officials

LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Residents of Lackawanna’s public housing are getting socked with new charges that could pose serious legal questions.

They are getting fined for maintenance of common areas in the Lackawanna Municipal Housing Authority’s three housing developments which they say is unfair, and they contacted Call 4 Action.

John Ingram, one of the housing authority commissioners, and the president of the tenant council at Glover Gardens said the housing authority is instituting a “lawn fee”.
It is a $25 penalty if the housing authority staff finds litter or debris on the lawn, outside of residents’ apartments.

“You are supposed to be responsible for your lawn. But let’s say you clean your lawn and then go to work. If they come around later, some paper that flew in, or whatever, you can get written up for it.”

There is also a new $15 air conditioning fee for the summer. Ingram told us, the housing authority barely maintains the common areas, and they recently sold their lawn mowing equipment in order to outsource the work to a private contractor.

“They are not cleaning, they are not doing regular maintenance,” said Ingram, “If you are not doing regular maintenance, how can you charge residents?”

Ingram said the tenants have contacted attorneys about these new charges. The tenant council for Glover Gardens and Baker Homes is holding a meeting later this month to share their findings, and what legal steps they might be able to take.

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