After fire, Village View man fights eviction effort

Photo by Clarissa Jan-Lim Bohdan Rekshynskyj visited his building last week at Village View, but was not allowed access to his apartment. In the photo above, he picked up what he called a letter of support that had been left outside his door.

Photo by Clarissa Jan-Lim
Bohdan Rekshynskyj visited his building last week at Village View, but was not allowed access to his apartment. In the photo above, he picked up what he called a letter of support that had been left outside his door.

BY CLARISSA JAN-LIM  |  A resident of the Village View apartment complex faces an uphill battle to keep the home that his parents owned before him in the middle-income co-op.

Bohdan Rekshynskyj’s (pronounced “wreck-shin-ski”) ordeal began on March 1, when his two-bedroom apartment, at 60 First Ave., at E. Fourth St., caught fire while he was out. Rekshynskyj, 53, has since been served with two holdover notices that, if upheld in court, would see him evicted due to complaints of hoarding, as well as “obnoxious odors” being emitted from his apartment.

Usually, in such cases, a certification of eviction must first be obtained from a hearing officer with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development before proceeding to Housing Court. In this case, due to the “emergency nature” — the tenant’s allegedly cluttered apartment and odors — H.P.D. has reportedly granted a waiver to allow the matter to go directly to Housing Court.

Since the fire, he has been able to return to his home only three times, while under close watch by security, and otherwise has been unable to enter his apartment because the building’s management changed his door.

Although he confesses to being a messy person, he said of his apartment, “It’s not a hoarder place like you see on TV. I’m just messy by nature,” he said. “I’ve been to other apartments, and a lot of people are messier than I am.”

He also said that his love for cooking means there is the occasional accident, hence the smell.

“Maybe sometimes I burn a plate or two,” he said.

Initial investigations by the Fire Department indicate that the blaze was accidental in nature. However, the building has been abuzz with rumors that it was arson, according to a source close to Rekshynskyj, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.

“If it was arson, the police would have arrested him by now,” the source said. “They’re spreading all these rumors about him… . There’s a guy going around saying he’s a terrorist.”

As for the charges about smells, he retorted, “I do not have any obnoxious or noxious odors coming out of my apartment.”

Rekshynskyj said that despite having been promised that his place would be cleaned and the windows fixed up after the fire, the management has yet to do so.

“They are lying to me, consistently, about the renovations going on,” he said. “It’s been since March 1. They’re just lying, and lying and lying.”

He also charged that his belongings have been rummaged through and some even stolen.

“I have ancient coins which I would sell off to pay the rent, and I think they have stolen them,” he said. “I do not know for sure.”

The source said Rekshynskyj was denied access to his apartment because the Fire Department deemed it inhabitable, but, she noted, “It’s never going to become habitable because he can’t go and clean it. It’s a Catch-22.”

Rekshynskyj’s efforts to speak to the complex’s manager, Joanne Batista, proved futile.

“She refuses to talk to me,” he said. His attempts to discuss his situation at a Village View board of directors meeting on Tues., June 11, were also not acknowledged.

Most recently, he had temporarily been living in the single-room-occupancy Sun Bright Hotel, at Bowery and Hester St., a place his friends helped him find. But he had to leave the S.R.O. on Tuesday. Speaking on his last day at the hotel, Rekshynskyj said he doesn’t know what will happen to him now.

“These people are completely evil,” Rekshynskyj said, referring to Village View’s management and board. “I’ve never been this vulnerable. … I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow. I’m really in a desperate situation.”

When contacted for comment, both the board’s president, Adam Silvera, and an attorney for Village View, Robert Cecere, declined to speak about the situation due to legal reasons. Cecere instead referred questions to what he called Rekshynskyj’s court-appointed “guardian.”

Rekshynskyj admits he has a “medical condition,” though did not want to specify its details. Village View maintains that he cannot take care of himself and needs help. However, Rekshynskyj and the source said he does not have a guardian.

“Absolutely not,” Rekshynskyj said. “I don’t need a guardian. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

Rekshynskyj’s court date for the holdover case is set for July 1.

With reporting 

by Gerard Flynn

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14 Responses to After fire, Village View man fights eviction effort

  1. SO TRUE!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Please HELP!!! Thank you! These people are so evil and $$$$$$$ is their only intent!

  3. Edith Rekshynskyj

    Please, Bohdan needs help. He is trying very hard to keep his apartment. He lost is job. Got unemployment, but as many have, couldn't find work. These jobs were outsourced and he ended up with Social Service. He got a thyroid condition which gives him big problems. He was struggling along and his friends helped him from loosing the apartment. Now due to the fire, Village View has a good excuse to get an apartment which can be resold for a lot of money. Bohdan says to me every time we talk, that if he looses this apartment and what is leftover he will kill himself or he says "I want to die in my sleep." He is waiting since March1, that they will repair his apartment. He has no access to get cloths or anything other things he needs. The management arranged to have put his things into plastic bags and thrown on top of his desk and other furniture and also on the floor. All his belongings were handled by strangers. He collected antiques and coins which he used to sell to keep his place. All the closets and drawers were cleaned out by strangers, without him present. Here is why I know this, I am his mother. I don't live in NY and I am to ill to travel. My heart is bleeding and I am asking if there is somebody out there to save his life. He is a good person and is always very helpful to others. Please help. Thank you for reading this.

  4. The man needs a lawyer – or else he will have no hope. They are creatures who will lie and stomp
    all over him.

  5. About what my mom said at certain points were MELODRAMATIC such as the "end of life" situations!

  6. How can we delete comments here, huh????????????????????????????????

  7. These people are so EVIL and POLITICAL and own more than one apartment so they can make thousands of dollars when they attempt to privatize Village View! They also attempt to discredit this article. You can NOT believe them!

  8. Edith Rekshynskyj

    Oops, I think I made a mistake. It was wrong of me what I wrote regarding about my son wanting to die in his sleep. I don't want to be misunderstood and cause my son any problems. I know he would never take his own life, he loves life to much. He has a very strong character and would never kill himself or hurt other people. He got that from me and he will never give up, even though he is homeless for 4 1/2 months due to the fire and the "don't care attitude" of MIS-management of the Village View apartments. The will not speak to my son when goes there. The only repair was done after he went to a board meeting, where they did not let him talk. They ignored him completely, even though he waved his newspaper. The next day the windows were installed (magic?) My husband and I struggled to get this apartment, never thinking that such a horrible thing would happen. My husband got sick and I was the sole supporter of my family and there never was a problem. My son has all his belongings in there and cannot enter it due to management orders. In three and one half month (3 1/2). He has no key and cannot get into the apartment to get clothing or any of his things which are necessary for daily use. This is inhumane and there should be something done about it. I am not well and can't travel, but if I could, I would be there and I would take care of it. The fire was only in the master bedroom and it was not caused by my son (as per fire dept). My son was out at the time of the fire. The buildings were built in the 1960s and probably need some updating. Can you imagine having windows replaced over 100 days?!!! The rest of the rooms were OK. The management let other people (maybe workers from village view) in to his apartment and they removed everything from his closets, put it in huge garbage bags and threw them all over the apartment and on the furniture. All the books from his bookcases were also thrown around. The 3 times my son had access with a guard, (for ONLY 10 minutes) he was so shocked he could not find anything. He does not know what happened to his money and jewelry. Expensive prints in frames were also removed. It is impossible to walk around and they never gave him time enough to really look for his possessions. I admit he is not the best housekeeper, but he is a very helpful person, especially to the elders. During hurricane Sandy he went through the building and delivered water to the elderly. I am not praising my son, but he has a good heart and wouldn't harm a fly, but Village View Management is treating him like an animal (and they are treating others as such for they covet the apartments for their own personal profit!!!). We are Christians and we would never heard anybody, so what are these people, who don't care a bit about a 53 year old person who looking for employment and has no home to go to (not een the staircase where his apartment is located).. He is not well and this is what worries me. He has a great mind, but living the way he has to live now, I don't think many people could survive. Thank God for his friends, they have helped him through all this hard time, but they can't do this forever. They also have families to support, but they still helped my son. I also did my best I could do to keep him afloat and I am always here to talk to him via phone. My son is educated, his job was lost with all the other jobs who were outsourced! America is fast becoming a 3rd world nation!!!). He graduated NYU, and now to village view he has had to sleep in staircases, and being very inhospitably evicted by VV security and depends even on strangers who will let him sleep at their place. This is what is happening now in America. He was trying to get help from Social Service, but to no avail. It seems that it is only the rich and the poor. Is this the end? 21st century America is becoming so 3rd/4th world, outsourcing everything and greedily destroying what made us great – the MIDDLE CLASS!!! Just look around.

  9. Village View Management needs to be investigated. They have mis-managed monies in the past and continue to do so. Why and how this can go on is just another way for them to line thier pockets. I hope a lawyer that reads the truth would help. If this man dies. The city will face a lawsuit for not allowing him back in to his own apartment.

  10. Bohdan Peter Rekshynskyj

    I so agree also with Mark!
    Joann Badtistta and the fool of the “president” of the VV board (don’t vote for this evil man running for a judge here!) are so corrupt and hostile! How can we get NYC’s proper authorities to reveal their abuses? Is HPD also being paid off? Where is Bloomberg, huh? Evil here wholly!

  11. The saying:”you made your bed(hallway)

    Now sleep in it”. Seems appropriate

    • To Wussyl: Just to let you know I have also a saying and it is: "The way you holler into a forest, that's the way it will come back to you." Your words above won' get you any place, it only shows ones personality. Sorry, but I had to say this. It hurts when people don't have a heart or feelings for others..

  12. Bohdan has done SO much to contribute to that apartment complex over the years. It's unfortunate that Social Services is NOT helping when he needs it most. I hope both Village View and Social Services will come through to resolve this in a positive manner, it's the right thing to do.

  13. I need help for my son.. Maybe you can read the article under the name Rekshynskyj, it would put you right into the situation my son is in and of course me too.. I live here in Florida (due to the relocation of my former company and my son Bohdan struggles to survive in the city he was born. He lives in a co-up, which was left to him by my deceased husband and myself. There was a fire in the master bedroom and since this time Management and I am not in good health and cannot be there for him, but we still can talk on the phone, which is getting harder and harder due to his situation. Have you ever heard of of a 50 year-old man living in the street? He is scared and his health is not good. There was a fire in his master bedroom (not caused by him. Fire department said it was inhabitable and Village View worked with a Insurance person from the city so they could get the money faster to clear up the apartment and make it livable again. VV changed the door and lock while he was 3 weeks in the hospital due to a seizure. When he came out of the hospital they did not let him see the apartment (he has seen it right after the fire with police still being. there). He told me that he could not go in, but he saw that all the other rooms from the entrance and they looked like there had been no fire. He has been sleeping in the staircase on the top floor, which the guards had to remove him (order from management. I see I am coming to an end here and if possible pls contact my son, I will give you his telephone upon your request. He is over 100 days without a home.and and has only food stamps to try to survive, I don't understand why Social Service and New York City lets this happen. Management would like his apartment to make money on. My son can tell you so much more. and I don't want to make any mistakes in telling you this because I was not there, but I speak to him every day. He is finished with his nerves and he used to be a real fighter for his rights. I wrote to Mayor Bloomberg and one of his assistance referred me to the management office. They don't talk to my son, they ignored him at the board meeting. How do you how felt? He is waving his and even a newspaper, but they did not call him to let him speak. Please help me. Thank you so much for reading part of what is happening in a city like New York. Sincerely, Edith Rekshynskyj

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