Sections

Dirty shame: Residents of housing project must walk a half-hour to clean their clothes since city shut down laundry room

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

And you thought your laundry situation was the pits. Try walking a mile in these folks’ shoes — literally.

Hundreds of residents of a public housing project in Vinegar Hill have been forced to walk nearly a mile to do their laundry ever since the on-site Laundromat closed last year.

Farragut Houses, the city-run, 10-tower complex of 3,440 residents, has zero laundry facilities within a nearly 20-block radius.

“It is almost a year since we’ve had a Laundromat,” said Ines, 64, who declined to give her last name.

So at about 7 am last Friday, there was Ines, setting out from the intersection of Navy Street and Flushing Avenue with a cart piled high with laundry, making the first steps of a 25-minute walk to a Laundromat on Myrtle Avenue.

“It’s terrible,” said Ines, who added that the trip was especially difficult thanks to her respiratory problems.

As Ines made it home at around 10:30, another Farragut House resident appeared at the intersection. Jerry was just beginning his journey to Myrtle Avenue, like Ines, pushing a black metal cart piled with laundry.

Also like Ines, he supports a city plan to tear down a row of dilapidated homes just inside the wall of the Brooklyn Navy Yard at the corner of Navy Street and Flushing Avenue.

“When they put in a supermarket, they should put in a Laundromat, too,” he said.

The weekly march to one of the two Myrtle Avenue Laundromats — one at North Portland Avenue, the other at Carlton Avenue — would not be necessary if the city found another operator for the basement laundry space at 191 Sand St., which was closed last year because it “was not up to code,” said Howard Marder, spokesman for the New York City Housing Authority.

He added that there “is no immediate plan” to put a new laundry facility into the Farragut Houses.

“Our capital projects division is doing a cost estimate to find out what it will cost to put that facility back into compliance, and then we would have to do a [request for proposals] to find someone to run it,” said Marder.

Some residents, like tenants association President Deborah Stewart, have their own washing machines. But many others, she said, make the “long and very inconvenient” walk to Myrtle.

Or, like her neighbor Deborah Ansley, they rely on relatives to drive them out of the neighborhood.

“I have a daughter who lives out in East New York, and she comes and drives me,” said Ansley, who has two herniated discs so she cannot make the trek to the Laundromat.

Unlike other gentrified neighborhoods, DUMBO, which borders the Farragut Houses, has no Laundromats — though there are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants and no less than two modern design shops.

In part, that’s because all of the new luxury developments have a washer and dryer in each unit.

Circumstances aren’t much better at neighboring housing projects, according to Ed Brown, the president of the Ingersoll Tenants Association in Fort Greene.

Ingersoll hasn’t had a Laundromat in more than 11 years. Meanwhile, the Laundromat directly across the street from the project has been demolished to make way for John Castimatidis’s luxury residential development — one that the Gristedes owner has put off indefinitely, thanks to the credit crisis.

Brown is trying to work with the city’s NYCHA and elected officials to remedy the problem.

Indeed, Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) said she’s trying to allocate funding to rebuild the projects’ laundry facilities.

Updated 5:06 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Jlo from Vinegar Hill says:
I am also a resident of Vinegar Hill and there is plenty of laundry available in the neighborhood. Maybe if these lowlifes worked and made an honest wadge instead of hanging out in front of the projects or wandering the neighborhood pan handling they would be able to afford to have their dirty clothes sent out to laundry. It is not as dire as this article makes it sound - these folks need to stop crying and start working.
April 6, 2008, 8:04 pm
use to live in farrgut from nice says:
people piss in the hall ways and throw garbage out of the window. lots of fights wish My family stay for the new farragut.
June 2, 2008, 5:58 pm
use to live in farrgut from nice says:
people piss in the hall ways and throw garbage out of the window. lots of fights wish My family stay for the new farragut.because i miss it because all my friends live their. and one day i will go back to live because i live in brooklyn all my life.
June 2, 2008, 6 pm
use to live in farragut from ok says:
people piss in the hall ways and throw garbage out of the window. lots of fights wish My family stay for the new farragut.because i miss it because all my friends live their. and one day i will go back to live their because i grew up their.
June 2, 2008, 6:04 pm
will like to go back from ok says:
it is the same as twenty six year ago.If people clean their will be no rats! PLEASE check it out.because i will love to move back.
June 2, 2008, 6:12 pm
butch from 237 navy says:
they need to fix the old laudromate in 191

by butch who live in building 237 navy
Feb. 26, 2010, 1:25 pm
Bruecklen from Park slope says:
They need to shut down Ingersoll Houses and Walt Whitman houses as well, personally I don't think they belong on Myrtle ave. They are crime ridden unlike Farragut houses.
June 16, 2010, 11:22 am
Big D from Farragut says:
@Jlo. Wandering and standing in front the buildings has nothing to do with laundry. We DON'T have any place t wash our clothes unless u walk to Myrtle ave. That doesn't seem like plenty of laundry in FFarragut to me. The topic is laundromats not who's hanging around
Oct. 8, 2010, 4:37 pm
silvia from just to live farragut housing 191 says:
Damn I grew up in farragut housing 191 sands St also went to PS 287, Sands jhs and Sarah J Hale HS not to long ago I went by brooklyn And passed by it looked so different but I remember when I was growing up I saw that St Anne's Church wasn't there anymore how everything changes sorry to hear about laundrymat problem 191 I remember going there w my mom to wash and dry clothes I wish I could have someone from before I didn't See anyone
PS287
July 10, 2015, 8:56 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

MetroPlus Roosevelt Savings Bank Coney Island Hospital Brookdale VillageCareMax

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter:

Optional: