122208rat.jpgThe Department of Housing Preservation and Development spent more than $4 million this year to maintain 113 buildings that have been all but abandoned by their landlords. These landlords are required to reimburse taxpayers for the work, but until then the city places a lien on the properties, most of which are located in Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Prospect Heights and East New York. Yet despite the emergency repairs, conditions at some of these residences are still utterly appalling. Angelica Jimenez of Bushwick tells the Daily News, "Every night, we have rats in my apartment—big ones! They walk all over the kitchen and that's not nice. I kill them. I have no choice, I can't afford to move." City Councilwoman Diana Reyna sees a pattern, and speculates that landlords in Bushwick are neglecting repairs to drive out low-income residents, thus enabling them to cash in on the neighborhood's proximity to trendy Williamsburg by renting to hipsters.