Broken elevator traps seniors, tenants with disabilities

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

More than 100 seniors and residents with disabilities are trapped in their Bridgeport apartment complex due to a broken elevator.

The Clifford House on Main Street is one of the tallest public housing facilities in Bridgeport. The complex’s only working elevator broke down Thursday, trapping many residents who live on the upper floors.

Tracy Williams, 58, recently had a stroke and says the only way to get to her apartment yesterday was to climb eight flights of stairs.

"I'm very nervous now, I don't know what to do,” says Williams. “I have a job, I am a foster grandparent and I couldn't even go in today because I can't walk down those stairs after walking up yesterday. My legs are still weak."

One resident told News 12’s Frank Recchia that he slept on a bench last night because the broken elevator kept him from getting to his apartment. Another shouted down from the fifth floor that she was stuck and couldn’t get to her doctor.

“I've got oxygen, I can't come downstairs, I can't move,” she yelled.

News 12 Connecticut reported the situation to federal housing authorities last night. Repair crews were on the scene by this morning, but residents say the breakdowns are so chronic that they're not optimistic.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal says the property owner has a contract with HUD and is accountable to the feds.

"You need to do your job because people can be, in effect, prisoners in their own apartments,” says Blumenthal.

Maritza Bond with the city of Bridgeport says, "We are doing everything in our power to compel the property owner to get the elevator fixed as quickly as possible.”

The property owner did not respond to our request for a comment.

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