Housing authority tells tenants to use fire hydrant after running water stops working

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Brooklyn, NY — When the water went out at Wyckoff Gardens, NYCHA managers told residents to go to a “water station” outside the building. The station was nothing more than a fire hydrant that a housing authority plumber had tapped to allow access to the water inside.

“That water was cold, freezing cold,” said Monica Underwood, 63, who has lived at Wyckoff for 33 years. “My feet and pants were wet. I was going to a fire hydrant to get water! How can you get enough water to cook, clean and flush the toilet?”

The water apparently went out last Saturday and was off and on again all week until it came back on Thursday.

“It’s crazy. Ridiculous. They didn’t have enough respect for us to come around and tell us. They made no effort to reach the handicapped, the elderly,” said 61-year-old resident Beverly Corbin.

Public Advocate Letitia James told the NY Daily News, “I want an explanation as to why anyone would think that a fire hydrant would be an acceptable means to get water.”

Families United for Racial and Economic Equality distributed cases of water until they had run out, but residents say this is only a symptom of a larger problem: decaying, aging buildings and an apathetic housing authority.

Read more at the NY Daily News.