Friday, December 26, 2014

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NY1 for You: Tenants of Harlem Building Go Through Deep Freeze Without Heat, Hot Water

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TWC News: NY1 for You: Tenants of Harlem Building Suffer Through Deep Freeze Without Heat, Hot Water
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Some Harlem tenants are suffering through single-digit temperatures as the unreliable heat in their building is out. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following report.

Unreliable heat and hot water continues to leave some Harlem tenants out in the cold through the deep freeze.

"There was no heat in the place. It was freezing cold," says tenant Everton Mason.

It's a condition that renters at the Harlem building told NY1 for You about last week, when they reached out for help.

The frequent lack of heat and hot water is just the tip of the iceberg, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which has more than 400 open violations on record for the building.

"The biggest concern of the condition of the building is that they're going to let the building deteriorate so bad that they're going to put us out of here," said tenant Sandra Johnson.

"They have not done anything to maintain this building," Mason says.

Last week, NY1 reached out to the building's owners, 139 Uptown LLC, but did not hear back. However, after the story aired last week, a representative from the LLC called. He claimed that there were misunderstandings with the tenants and that the owners are now in the process of restoring hot water.

A spokesman from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development told NY1 for You that approximately 130 violations have been issued since the current owner purchased the property. He said that HPD has spent more than $3,000 to perform emergency repairs since 2008 and is currently making repairs to the boiler.

However, residents told NY1 for You that the on-again, off-again heat is now off again in these single-digit temperatures.

NY1 for You contacted HPD about the emergency situation, and the spokesman said that as of earlier this week, the boiler had been repaired and the heat was on. However, he said that they're sending an inspector to the site immediately.

NY1 for You will continue to follow the story.

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