First floor of board­ing house re­opens

Build­ing was shut down last year due to bed­bugs; some work re­mains

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul Kirby pkirby@free­manon­ paulat­free­man on Twit­ter

A board­ing house on El­iz­a­beth Street that was shut down a year ago due to an in­fes­ta­tion of bed­bugs has been al­lowed to partly re­open, and the rest of the build­ing is be­ing ren­o­vated, ac­cord­ing to a city of­fi­cial.

The first floor of the house at 21 El­iz­a­beth St. re­opened to ten­ants about six months ago, and work is on­go­ing on the sec­ond and third floors, said Kingston As­sis­tant Cor­po­ra­tion Coun­sel Daniel Garten­stein.

The board­ing house sits on a short block be­tween Washington Av­enue and Wall Street, near Ge­orge Washington El­e­men­tary School.

The city’s Build­ing Safety Di­vi­sion de­clared the house un­in­hab­it­able and or­dered ten­ants to move out in Septem­ber 2015 due to what then-Cor­po­ra­tion Coun­sel An­drew Zweben said was a bed­bug prob­lem that had been go­ing on for more than five years.

Zweben said the owner, Thomas Phillips, had been told to treat the prob­lem but was un­able to so suc­cess­fully and ad­mit­ted it was get­ting worse.

Zweben also said Phillips made ten­ants sign waivers ac­knowl­edg­ing the build­ing was in­fested be­fore rent­ing rooms to them, which the at­tor­ney said was a vi­o­la­tion of the state’s Prop­erty Main­te­nance Code.

The code states land­lords can­not rent space know­ing that it has a pest in­fes­ta­tion.

At the time of the shut­down, res­i­dents said about 30 men were liv­ing in the house, though Zweben said he was told there were 52 so­cial ser­vices clients liv­ing there. One man re­ported pay­ing $500

per month to share a room with an­other man.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear this week how many peo­ple are liv­ing in the build­ing now.

Less than a week af­ter the board­ing house was

closed, city po­lice said the body of a 33-yearold Saugerties man was found in a bath­room in the build­ing. Au­thor­i­ties said David C. Lind’s death did not ap­pear to be the re­sult of a crim­i­nal act.


The board­ing house at 21 El­iz­a­beth St. in Kingston has partly re­opened.

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