A squatter stole an elderly dying woman's home from her, forcing her to spend her final day in a home where she had been raped.
The New York City Housing Authority reportedly did nothing to get rid of the squatter who took over 67-year-old Patricia Phillip’s apartment, the New York Daily News reports.
Each year, the squatter would pretend to be Phillip, signing an occupant’s affidavit in her name. Meanwhile, Phillip’s continued to pay rent, hoping one day she could return.
Consequently, Phillip -- a breast cancer and stroke survivor -- had to live in a nursing home where a nurse assistant, Jose Ramos, raped her six years ago. She died on Jan. 19 of congestive heart failure.
“From the first day I met her, all [Phillip] said to me was, 'I want to go home,'” attorney Colleen Meenan said. "But she was warehoused in this nursing home, completely abandoned.”
“We don't know if it was sloppy management or if someone was looking the other way," Meenan added. "We've been begging NYCHA for close to 10 months to do the right thing, but they haven't."
As a result, Phillip spent her last few days “in a dark room with the shades drawn in worn, donated clothing,” said an unidentified consultant who worked on Phillip’s case.
“She was watching 20-year-old reruns,” added the consultant. “This went on for years. There was no reason for [her to] be there when she could have lived in the community. The only thing that kept her [in the nursing home] was that she had no place to go.”
Even now, the NYCHA has failed to get rid of the squatter, although it says it is investigating the case.
This case represents just one of many NYCHA has gotten into legal trouble over.
A March survey reveals it takes a while for tenants to get their apartments fixed -- up to five years.
“NYCHA is the worst landlord in the city of New York,” Democratic state Sen. Jeff Klein of the Bronx said.
“These devastating survey findings add to the body of evidence that show state disinvestment in NYCHA has significant impact on residents’ health, safety and well-being,“ Council Public Housing Committee Chair Ritchie Torres added.