NEW YORK — Five Democratic candidates for mayor of New York awoke Sunday as guests in public housing apartments, where they had spent the night to get a first-hand look at problems.
Toting sleeping bags, pillows and bouquets for their hosts, the candidates — city public advocate Bill de Blasio, city comptroller John Liu, City Council speaker Christine Quinn, former comptroller Bill Thompson, and former US representative Anthony Weiner — arrived Saturday evening to bunk with different families at Lincoln Houses complex.
Local advocacy groups organized the sleepover to highlight conditions in developments run by the New York City Housing Authority. Candidates said they were troubled by what they saw.
‘‘The overall living conditions of the buildings were deplorable,’’ Liu said Sunday, though he said he had had a comfortable stay in his hosts’ meticulously kept apartment.
Quinn, too, said her hosts had a spotless home — except for the black mold covering their bathroom. The family, which includes an asthmatic child, called the housing authority to address the mold but do not have a sense of when that may happen, she said.
‘‘These folks are paying rent every month, working really, really hard . . . and they cannot get a response,’’ she said .
Authority representatives declined to comment. Organizers said they hoped it would inform the candidates’ thinking if one of them wins the mayor’s race this fall.