Rats take over Brooklyn NYCHA development, playground

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BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Rats have taken over a NYCHA development playground, and families who live there say the rodents are now coming inside the buildings.

Kesha Crawford said the rats have infested a playground on Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, just feet away from where her children play.

Diane Hatchett said the problem is not just keeping kids away from playing in the area, but rodents are now making their way into her home in Stuyvesant Gardens. She lives on the first floor and has trouble sleeping at night.

“They are walking around on my couch, dresser, and I wake up at night,” Hatchett said.

Crawford, who lives at the Stuyvesant Gardens, said no one is doing anything about the infestation.

Residents say they want the holes in the buildings filled, more exterminating efforts, and more trash cans.

“We need garbage cans; one behind every building,” said Carla Hollingsworth. 

Councilmember Robert Cornegy said New York City has enough problems, and rats shouldn’t be one of them.

“Residents of any building should be alarmed and outspoken if they face an infestation. I will not accept dangerous pests anywhere, and NYCHA residents deserve to be safe as anyone else,” he said. “We have a responsibility to make sure our tenants are safe, so I will continue to act swiftly when I hear about rat complaints. Nobody should live with these infestations, especially as bad as the one in Bed-Stuy.”

A spokesperson for NYCHA said the agency is trying to address “the root causes” of the rat problem at the development through daily grounds cleanings, weekly extermination treatments, and increased trash pick-ups. 

“Bricklayers have also been dispatched to close the rat burrows contributing to this problem,” the spokesperson added.

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