City law requires landlords to provide heat for tenants when temperatures drop below 55 degrees. But residents in a Bronx public housing complex say the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) routinely violates that law. NY1's Lindsay Tuchman has the story.
Adassa Williams uses her stove to heat her apartment — a dangerous but necessary choice.
Williams and other residents of the Patterson Houses, a New York City Housing Authority complex in the South Bronx, say they do not always have heat when the temperature drops.
"Throughout the weekend, it was 30-something degrees outside," Williams said. "The apartment was so cold, it was even colder indoors than outdoors."
According to officials, the boilers heating the 15-building complex were disconnected because they were outdated, and were replaced by two temporary mobile boilers.
Residents and advocates came together Monday to say the temporary fix is not enough.
"These are massive buildings," advocate Amanda Septimo said. "There's no way these trucks have the capacity to heat them for more than 30 minutes."
"I fell asleep with my clothes on. It was too cold to even go in and take a shower or bath," resident Willie May Williams said. "It's ridiculous. It's time for them to step up and do what they have to do."
This isn't the first time residents have dealt with no heat in cold weather. In fact, they first brought this issue to the attention of the city housing authority five years ago.
Officials for the housing authority said there is a plan in motion, with the permanent boilers set to be replaced as part of a large-scale Energy Performance Contract by 2020.
That is not soon enough for some tenants. "But the thing is it's been too long, and something needs to get done," Williams said. "It's way too long, way too long — action, please."
Housing authority representatives did admit that they "must do better to provide residents the homes they deserve."
Right now, residents say they are waiting for NYCHA to keep that promise.