The city’s heartless housing authority kicked an elderly man out of his Bronx apartment after a medical emergency forced him to fall behind on his rent, angry supporters said on Thursday.
Not only is 72-year-old Bienvenido Martinez homeless after being evicted last year from his Union Ave. NYCHA home of more than 14 years, but all his important possessions — social security card, birth certificate, state identification, furniture, family photos — were tossed in the trash instead of being placed in storage as required by law, supporters said.
“I’m very sad,” Martinez told the Daily News. “I lost everything that I had.”
Martinez, who has no immediate family, said his ordeal began last May when he was hospitalized for a condition that required partial amputation of one of his legs. He was admitted to the Beth Abraham Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.
Several months later, in August, NYCHA informed Martinez that he was being evicted from his apartment for failing to pay $816 in back rent.
In October, caseworkers at the rehab center intervened, telling NYCHA authorities that their elderly patient would be returning after his treatment. Martinez was evicted in December.
Martinez said he was never served with eviction papers.
“He wants to go home,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “But he doesn’t have a home to go to. It is wrong. It’s an injustice. It’s unfair.”
Diaz wrote a letter about the agency’s “heartless purge” to NYCHA’s interim chair, Kathryn Garcia, urging NYCHA to find Martinez a new apartment and compensate him for his possessions.
“We are unable to comment on individual residents’ lease agreements, however, we will work with the resident to restore his tenancy,” said NYCHA spokeswoman Barbara Brancaccio.
For now, Martinez remains at the rehab center, even though his treatment was completed months ago.