| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:12

    Seventy-two year old Patricia Boyle was unable to leave her fifth-floor apartment for more than a month. A broken elevator in her building, 171 E. 81st St. between Lexington and Third avenues, left Boyle, who suffers from cerebral palsy, unable to pick up the mail or see her doctor. â??I haven"t been out of here since October 7th, and I"ve had to cancel several medical things, including getting my front tooth put in, said Boyle during a Nov. 13 interview before the elevator was finally fixed. According to Boyle, the elevator in the six-story building stopped working on Oct. 9. This is not the first time that Boyle, who has lived in the building for 48 years, says she has encountered such a problem. â??It has broken down umpteen times during the course of every year, she said. â??This is the longest it has ever been out. Faulty elevators, particularly those in New York City Housing Authority buildings, have been in the spotlight after a 5-year-old boy died while jumping from a stalled elevator in a Brooklyn housing project. In September, Borough President Scott Stringer released a report showing that 75 percent of elevators in housing authority buildings were rated unsatisfactory. However, a representative from Stringer"s office said they have not looked into elevators at privately owned buildings. Luckily, neither Boyle nor her neighbors were hurt, although the broken elevator was a huge inconvenience. Until the elevator began working again, Boyle relied on friends, her brother and Meals on Wheels for everyday needs. Other elderly residents, who, like Boyle, live in the building"s rent-controlled apartments, struggled to get out by themselves. â??There"s another lady on the sixth floor. She"s afraid to say anything, Boyle said. â??She"s on a walker and occasionally I hear her banging side to side trying to get downstairs. Boyle began making calls, first to the building"s owner, Noam Corporation, then to her superintendent and finally to 311, which led to a visit by the Department of Buildings. Noam Corporation declined to comment on the issue. The Department of Buildings came to inspect the elevator on Oct. 23 and a violation was filed. A sign from the department declaring the elevator unsafe still hung on the elevator"s lobby door last Thursday. According to Rue Babb, the building"s superintendent, the elevator"s repair was delayed because of missing parts. â??We hired someone to fix it, Babb said. â??We couldn"t find the parts, so we had to make them. They have to put in some new wiring. Repair on the broken elevator finally began last week's more than a month after the problem was first reported. An inspector from the Department of Buildings stopped by on Wednesday, Nov. 12 to check on progress but found that work was still not completed, said Louis Rodriguez, a supervisor inspector with the department"s elevator division. According to Rodriguez, the elevator had to be inspected again before it could be allowed to run. Repairs were completed after that visit, and an inspector approved the elevator for operation on Monday, Nov. 17, according to the department. Even though the elevator is working now, Boyle"s friend, Jeanette Bebosa, is afraid it will break down again, or worse, someone will get hurt. â??That elevator is a death trap, Bebosa said. â??I"ve been in there when it"s working, but the noise that it makes is scary.