NYCHA Residents Already Dealing With Heat, Hot Water Outages

Steve Burns
November 08, 2019 - 9:12 pm
Castle Hill Houses - NYCHA

Steve Burns/WCBS 880

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — About 5,000 people at a public housing complex in the Bronx were left without heat or hot water on Friday, on the coldest day of the season so far.

As WCBS 880’s Steve Burns reports, it’s almost like clockwork at this point – the weather drops and the heat goes out almost immediately.

Just days into the “heating season,” residents at the Castle Hill Houses say they were suffering in the cold. One man was entering the building with his elderly grandmother and said he was disappointed by the conditions.

“It’s very bad for a 92-year-old, elderly person that lives in the building – very bad,” he said.

He said they’ve had to turn on the oven and leave the door open inside the apartment for warmth.

“That is the one thing that we try to tell them not to do but, they still end up having to do it,” the man said.

Roughly 10 years ago, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference at the Castle Hill Houses, promising green energy investments and new boilers.

RELATED: Over 85% Of NYCHA Apartments Lost Heat, Hot Water Last Winter

“This is not one of the older projects where the boilers are 60-years-old. These are brand new, there should be no issues at all,” the resident told Burns.

The Legal Aid Society’s Redmond Haskins says NYCHA is already off to a bad start, especially after Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to allocate $200 million for upgrades at 20 developments.

“This is not promising for the start of the cold weather,” Haskins said.

He adds that the financial help from the city and the state needs to come quicker.

“What has been allocated so far is really only a drop in a bucket to get these buildings where they need to be, where we're not seeing these outages on a daily basis,” Haskin said.

According to NYCHA's website, hot water and heat had been restored at the Castle Hill Houses by 10 p.m. Friday. More than 2,000 residents were also without heat at the Rangel Houses in Harlem.