The Lin family vacated their home more than a month ago when construction on a neighboring house rendered theirs unsafe.
According to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who is trying to help them, the family spent a few nights at a hotel, but because of costs, is now living with friends and family with no move-back date in sight.
“The family is trying to live the American dream,” Van Bramer said. “Buying this house was part of their dream and now it’s a nightmare for them.”
The house next door at 50-30 64 St. in Wynwood Gardens, a residential area off of 65th Place where Woodside meets Maspeth, was abandoned several years ago when the owners went into foreclosure. At some point Bank of America and New York Mellon Corp. acquired the property and attempted to reconstruct the ailing structure.
“They went down deep on the foundation, but instead of making it better they made a bigger problem,” Wynwood Gardens Civic Association President Jean Claude Calvez said.
Wynwood Gardens has faced adversity since its creation. The neighborhood is built on top of a creek — which may or may not be still running, according to Calvez — that was covered with dirt from the construction of Rockefeller Center in the 1930s. Many of the homes’ foundations were reinforced by the government a few years back, 64th Street resident John Coles said, but not at the problem house.
“It sunk 10 feet about three months ago [during construction],” Coles added.
That’s when the Department of Buildings issued a partial stop-work order on June 20, followed by a full stop order on Aug. 21.
The Lins, who live in the brick house adjacent to 50-30 64 St., were mandated by the DOB to vacate their home on Aug. 17. The order states that the adjacent home was “creating a hazardous condition to occupants.”
Since then Van Bramer has worked with Tashi Lin and his brother to try to come to a solution. Lin is Tibetan and speaks little English. He did not return messages to The Chronicle.
Van Bramer’s office has a staff member who speaks the languages of Tibet and has been working closely with the family. A translator was acquired to assist with pending litigation and the Red Cross was contacted to help the family through this hardship.
Both banks were sent a letter in hopes that the Lins would be compensated. Only Bank of America has responded so far, according to Van Bramer.
“We are trying to come up with some long-term and short-term solutions,” Van Bramer said.