The terrible cold spell that has hit New York City hard has hit some area residents harder than others. Many who live in apartments managed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have been without any heat.
It has been reported that residents of NYCHA buildings across the city are currently suffering from the lack of heat in the below zero temperatures, and it doesn’t seem that this is going to change anytime soon.
NYCHA insists that they are in the process of helping these people, but the residents of the Sotomayor Houses in the Bronx haven’t seen any signs of this. All they can see is frozen pipes. This could create dangerous situations, as people are using any means at their disposal to stay warm, including using space heaters, which could lead to fires.
One of those people using space heaters is Cecilia Quinones, who was trying to stay warm with her 7-month-old daughter Zaley. Even with numerous space heaters placed around their apartment they were still freezing. She’s hoping that the housing authority does something about it, and does it soon. But both she and her neighbor Michelle Torres say that nothing so far has been done to fix the situation, despite the fact that NYCHA claims that repairs would be made presently.
Torres further says that she got a call from NYCHA that stated that the repairs had been completed, and that she had to call them back to let them know that this was not the case.
Some in the city have seen this coming. Scott Stringer, who is the New York City comptroller, says that his department identified the problems back in 2015, and that the problems have only gotten worse since. He says that NYCHA boilers are 5 times more likely to fail than other boilers in the city, and that if you live in a building managed by the NYCHA, there is a 40% percent chance that your building’s boiler is defective.
Stringer calls this discrimination, and that it has to end. He further says that his department will be auditing NYCHA’s heating systems, with the goal of getting the agency to improve its maintenance policies.