Rats taking over low-income Manhattan development, resident says

New York News

NEW YORK (PIX11) — An East Village public housing resident is kept awake each night by the sound of rodents outside her window.

The rat problem at the Mariana Bracetti Plaza is becoming a health hazard, resident Kanielle Hernandez said. The sound gets louder each night and that people walk by, unaware that there’s a pile of garbage covered in hungry rodents just a few feet away. She posted video of the issue on Instagram. She says she has another video that shows a rat hitting a man’s bike.

Hernandez said she started taking videos of her close encounters with rats because she loves her neighborhood and hates to see it become a health hazard. She said that when the sun goes down, no one dares go outside.

The problem is now infiltrating their community garden, a green space that Hernandez helped renovate. Trash is fueling the infestation, Hernandez said. She would like to see the area exterminated along with more trash pick-ups.

A spokesperson with the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) told NEWS10’s sister station in New York: “This location is one of the Neighborhood Rat Reduction (NRR) sites and NYCHA’s pest control visits the development at least once a week. They last visited on Monday and have scheduled to return tomorrow to inspect the area. NYCHA staff will clean the area and power wash it as well, and we will continue to monitor the situation.”

A spokesperson from the Sanitation Departments said, “We pick up trash from this location three times a week—Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We do not have a record of major issues here, but trash in a gated pen could be vulnerable to rodent activity. Containerized service—as some other NYCHA developments have, where the staff on-site put the material into sealed containers for DSNY collection—may be a viable solution to prevent rodent activity.”

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