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Queensbridge Tenants Say Long-Time Scaffolding Blocks Security Cams

 Residents say scaffolding at the Queensbridge Houses has been there for years and is a potential hideout for drug dealers.
Residents say scaffolding at the Queensbridge Houses has been there for years and is a potential hideout for drug dealers.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

QUEENS — Tenants at the Queensbridge Houses say scaffolding that's been outside their buildings for years has turned into an eyesore and a potential hideout for drug dealers.

The bright blue structures that cover the sprawling NYCHA campus — where there's been an uptick in shootings this year — also obscure the view of security cameras outside some buildings, residents say.

"Some of the scaffolding actually blocks the cameras," said Tenants Association President April Simpson, who mentioned the issued to NYCHA workers on campus and local pols.

She added that the structures have also turned into a stash house for criminals who climb the metal bars to ditch their goods on top.

"A lot of the residents have witnessed the drug dealers hiding their drugs up in it, hiding their guns up in it," she added.

The Housing Authority says it put up the scaffolding in 2010 to comply with Local Law 11, which mandates the inspection and maintenance of building facades.

In a statement, NYCHA said it plans to start brickwork and roof repairs at the Queensbridge Houses "within a year or so." It added that the scaffolding is required by local law until those repairs are made "for safety reasons to protect residents and people on the ground from any loose bricks or fallen debris."

NYCHA declined to address queries about the security camera issue.

The authority has been criticized for being slow to make repairs at its properties. At the beginning of this year, NYCHA had a massive backlog of 420,000 open repair requests, a waitlist that Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to eliminate by the end of 2013.

"I had a hallway light out for three months," said Ray Normandeau, a longtime tenant who runs a news website for the Queensbridge Houses.

He said he doesn't expect to see the scaffolding move anytime soon.

"The Housing Authority doesn't care," he said.

Meanwhile, Queensbridge tenants say they're tired of the equipment outside their homes.

"They look ugly. It's disgusting," said one woman, who did not want to give her name. "We have to see that every day."

But longtime tenant Barbara Hinton has found a bright side to the hulking structures: they cast a nice shade around her building on hot summer says.

"It keeps the sun off of me," she said.