Efficient or Deficient?

Tenant Cases Snagged on Court's Calendar

Pamon's workers could repair more than Macaluso's apartment. City records show the six-floor tenement has 397 violations, including 67 that are immediate hazards. Despite the infractions, Macaluso says he pays his rent—$41.25 a month—"the minute it's due." His low rent is due to his rent-controlled status and a state-ordered rollback based on poor conditions. Kaplan says Pamon doesn't apply for annual rent increases since the most he'd get is a 7.5 percent hike.

In the meantime, Macaluso continues to live in a decrepit four-room apartment with only the sparsest furnishings. "I could buy some nice things, but what's the point?" asks Macaluso. "They only get damaged in here. But don't get me wrong. It's not that I feel sorry for myself. I just have to survive."

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