With its paint peeling and its railings rusted, the Antillean Manor stands in disrepair on Day Street. But almost three weeks after New Haven issued an emergency order for its repair, residents say they have mixed feelings about what has been done so far.
The Antillean Manor, an affordable housing complex, was once run by private cooperative, but its management changed hands after residents reported that co-op officials had been absent for years. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development now pays private company Carabetta Management Co. a stipend to maintain the affordable housing complex. In an October inspection of Antillean Manor, New Haven Building Department Technical Compliance Officer Jim Turcio found that the complex’s walkways and guard rail systems violated building codes. Immediately following the inspection, he issued an order for emergency repairs to the outside of the complex. Since the order, Carabetta Management has been facilitating repairs to the building’s exterior, as well as addressing residents’ complaints of leaks and mold. As repair teams continue work on the complex, building residents say that the repairs are long overdue.
“This should’ve happened before I even moved in here,” Antillean Manor resident Nicole Jackson said. “This building is raggedy, it’s falling apart, and it’s just never been up kept, no matter how many letters we wrote to HUD.”
Turcio said the complex was in worse condition than many buildings in New Haven due to a lack of maintenance. He said the complex has the same issues it did during the last building inspection in 2001, including unsafe walkways. Turcio said the city will conduct more inspections as the team progresses in its repairs.
Although his inspection was focused on external building code issues, repair crews made additional internal and external repairs. The entire building was washed and some sections are being painted, Turcio said.
Carabetta Management Regional Manager Aldo Parnasso directs the team renovating the building. But he said in an email he was unaware of repair orders from the city and noted that repairs are happening because of problems the company uncovered during an annual inspection.
Parnasso said that in addition to the annual inspection, Carabetta Management expects residents to call in maintenance issues as they happen.
“Every year we inspect all the apartments for any deficiencies,” Parnasso said. “So our inspections took place here in October, and our in-house inspectors noticed some of the deficiencies and that’s why we are here.”
Parnasso said his inspectors noticed “routine” household deficiencies, such as water leaks. He said he expects the repair crews to work on Antillean Manor for another eight days.
Jackson said although the renovations were long overdue and repairs should have been made before she moved in eight years ago, she remains optimistic about the state of renovations.
“I had mold everywhere; now it’s gone,” Jackson said. “It’s a positive change. They’re fixing things up.”
Antillean Manor is located in Connecticut’s third Congressional district.