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Housing violations lodged against owners of Towne Gardens

WBFO News file photo

After years of effort, the long fight over conditions at the Towne Gardens housing complex in Buffalo is in court.

The owners are in Brooklyn and Ellicott District Common Council member and Council President Darius Pridgen said they told him conditions were fine for a New York City housing project. He says that's irrelevant for a Buffalo housing project.

City Judge Patrick Carney adjourned the case to May 11, with city lawyers saying there will eventually be at least 100 housing code violations at issue, not all yet filed.

"Ever since these owners have owned it, even since the days of former Councilmember Brian Davis, this has been a problem. This has been a nuisance problem," Pridgen said.

"It has been a forsaken problem by the owners. The tenants have been complaining there is everything from black mold in this place to broken windows to squirrels in the ceiling. You name it, it's there."

Pridgen said if the owners have the money to hire a high-priced lawyer, they probably have the money to hire someone to fix the problems because a handyman doesn't get hundreds of dollars an hour. Last month, the city hit the complex with an inspection blitz and these charges are a result.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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