BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) has yet to make a representative available to answer questions, on camera, regarding complaints of residents of the BMHA’s Marine Drive Apartments, and what those tenants describe as regular breakdowns of mechanical systems in the apartment towers.
Beyond these breakdowns in the nearly 70-year-old buildings, residents complain that the BMHA is unresponsive to their concerns in a timely fashion.
Last week, we were called by a resident of the Ebbtide Building, one of the seven, 12-story structures that comprise Marine Drive, after both of its elevators failed, leaving some elderly tenants unable to get to their homes for nearly four hours.
While at Marine Drive, several other tenants approached us to lodge similar complaints of problems to which – in their minds -- the BMHA seemed to be “ignoring”.
We placed a half dozen calls to BMHA Executive director Dawn Sanders–Garret on Friday, and went to her office when we were unable able to get through on the phone, asking to speak to her about these concerns.
Having gotten no response, we called again on Monday, and received a response from her executive assistant, advising us that Sanders-Garret wished us to e-mail specific questions to her, so that she “can then address them with the appropriate staff member and respond."
We informed the assistant, via e-mail, that we wished to discuss the complaints of residents and that we wished to ask them to Sanders-Garret, or an appropriate representative of the agency on camera.
We still haven't heard back on when that might happen.
BMHA “would screw up a two car funeral”.
David A. Franczyk, the Lovejoy District Buffalo Common Council Member representing the 2,000 residents of Marine Drive, described the BMHA as a bloated, inefficient, omnipotent bureaucracy which answers to almost no one.
“The BMHA ignores the Common Council, because they don’t have to listen to us,” said Franczyk. “They are an authority created by the state."
Not that those facts have stopped Franczyk from trying.
“I have put in enough resolutions to paper the entire mismanagement of BMHA in regard to Marine Drive," he says. "They (the BMHA) shouldn’t be running Marine Drive at all. It should be left to the tenants' association to run, not the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. They'd screw up a two car funeral as it goes to Marine Drive."