Public Housing Residents in East Harlem Complain About Lack of Heat

Many residents at Metro North Plaza Houses in East Harlem say the only heat they have gotten in their apartments this winter is from their space heater.

Stanley Johnson is the Tenant Association President and he says tempers are the only thing boiling over here. 

"It's cold," Johnson said. "Today is frigid outside. Who wants to be cold outside and in their apartment? That doesn't make any sense."

There are 3 buildings and 177 apartments in the complex. Johnson says based on his estimates about half the residents are without heat. A few floors below him Lisa Reaves keeps checking the radiator. She's afraid a space heater could catch fire so she's wearing layers of clothing to stay warm.

"This is my sweater," Reaves said. "My shirt. And I have leggings."

She says this is how she's planning to sleep until the heat is back on.   

"Yes indeed. Me and my 5-year-old daughter."

When we reached out to the New York City Housing Authority we were told that heat had been provided to the building over the last two days.

But we spoke with more than a handful of residents who say they never felt it although they heard some people did. 

In a statement a NYCHA spokesperson said:

"The building is down one boiler as one is being repaired. Adjustments are being made to the operational boiler to provide better heat in response to the colder outdoor temperatures, while the other is repaired. We apologize for the impact on residents as we make the necessary repairs to our boilers."

In the building there were signs that heat technicians and plumbers were responding, but many here say those repairs should have been done before winter came. 

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