First floor of boarding house reopens
Building was shut down last year due to bedbugs; some work remains
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.