EHS Settles Fraud Accusations

This caught my eye, and brought back some memories. I stayed in an EHS building for a semester when I was at the New School, back in 2001. The company was a total slumlord. The school had a contract with EHS, so when I signed up for university housing I was given a room in one of their buildings, as if it were a dorm.

The place was in Brooklyn Heights. EHS had recently acquired the building, and the room hadn’t been touched since the acquisition. The previous owners had used the building as an SRO, so, really, it hadn’t been well maintained in a very long time. There was a small private bathroom within the room, and its doorknob was broken. The door itself had a big, black shoe mark squarely in its center, as if a previous tenant had tried to kick it in. This was a plausible theory, at least, given its tendency to trap a party inside, when fully closed. The water was never quite hot. The faucets would come off of the sink, exposing the tops of the valves. The carpeting in the main room had a plate-sized burn mark in the center of the floor. It didn’t seem like they had even thoroughly cleaned the place prior to the beginning of the semester. Other rooms in that part of the building were comparable, but there was another wing where things had at least been painted. It was very random.

I put in a request for a room change, but it went nowhere. I put in work orders to get things painted and repaired, but they went nowhere, either. And as anyone who dealt with the New School in those days knows, complaining to the university would have been an exercise in sheer futility. Then 9/11 happened, and having a shabby dorm room seemed like a very small problem. We actually took on additional roommates in that building — students who had been displaced from a building in Lower Manhattan. What a terrible time.