MILFORD - Officials discovered another overcrowded apartment yesterday, finding numerous violations including three bedrooms in the basement of the two-family house at 10 Cherry St. "It's illegal. It's a rooming house," said Public Health Director Paul Mazzuchelli, standing in the building's basement, which also contained a sink and a mini-fridge. "It's totally in violation of health and building codes, and fire codes, I imagine."
Officials discovered another overcrowded apartment yesterday, finding numerous violations including three bedrooms in the basement of the two-family house at 10 Cherry St.
"It's illegal. It's a rooming house," said Public Health Director Paul Mazzuchelli, standing in the building's basement, which also contained a sink and a mini-fridge. "It's totally in violation of health and building codes, and fire codes, I imagine."
The Health Department will send a letter to Nolfa Salazar, the landlord of the building, requiring she clear up the violations, Mazzuchelli said.
A neighbor's estimate of 20 inhabitants is "probably right on," Mazzuchelli said.
"They have obvious health code violations, it's dangerous to the occupants, but it's also a neighborhood blight," he said. "It's a classic case."
Inspectors last visited the building in 2005 after receiving a complaint about overcrowding, he said.
"At the time, to me, it was being used as a rooming house-type building," Mazzuchelli said. "(Salazar) was told it couldn't be used as a rooming house. I believe it stopped for a little while and then it started up again."
Mazzuchelli and other officials, including Building Inspector Anthony DeLuca and Health Inspector Steven Garabedian made the trip yesterday, after receiving a question about the second floor from RMX, the company performing apartment inspections throughout town.
Another thing that sparked the return visit is RMX representatives could not get into the basement at the time of their visit, Mazzuchelli said.
Two of the basement bedrooms measured about 7 by 8 feet, Mazzuchelli said. A twin-size mattress took up most of the space in each room.
According to Mazzuchelli the minimum size of a bedroom is 70 square feet and if there is a second person in the bedroom, you'd have to add another 50 square feet.
One bedroom is close to the boiler. Another is tucked into a corner near the stairs, has only a mattress for a bed and has no ventilation.
When he went into the third bedroom, Mazzuchelli said a man was in it. The resident told inspectors he pays $200 a month in rent, Mazzuchelli said.
There were pools of water on the floor of the basement, possibly from the rain Thursday, said Loriann Braza-Pallaria, the assistant zoning enforcement officer.
The basement, which had a musty odor, suffers from "chronic dampness," Mazzuchelli said.
"Is this the way to live?" Mazzuchelli said, looking around the basement.
Salazar could not be reached yesterday. Her listed phone number has been disconnected.
On the second floor, officials found four bedrooms where there are only supposed to be three, Mazzuchelli said.
"One of the bedrooms off to the side was a makeshift," he said. "There was also a little baby there too, with her mom."
Inspectors could not get into the first floor of the building, where the occupancy limit is also three bedrooms, Mazzuchelli said.
The Health Department will be in touch with RMX to determine the maximum occupancy limit of the building.
"It's something we're confronting almost every time we go out: bedrooms in the basement," Mazzuchelli said. "They're out there. You can see the need for the continuation of the (inspection) program."
Paul Crocetti can be reached at 508-634-7583 or email@example.com.