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Legal Aid Society threatens to sue NYCHA for $15 million over heat problems

NEW YORK – It’s been a brutal winter for families in our city with no heat – and now, thousands of residents are no longer taking it.

They are taking NYCHA to court and suing for $15 million in back rent.

Some 320,000 New York City Housing Authority residents were left in the cold with no heat or hot water this winter. PIX11 News helped turn on the heat to 55 buildings so far.

Legal Aid Society lawyers said it’s time for NYCHA to return millions of dollars in rent to families who suffered.

PIX11 News has learned exclusively that the mayor’s office and the new general manager of NYCHA met for about an hour Monday behind closed doors with community advocates and residents.

Their demands include $2 billion right now for an immediate fix; an oversight committee of residents and a new chair to be appointed to the agency.

The mayor's office said in a statement to PIX11 News that "had a productive meeting with CVH to discuss how we can work together to improve heating systems and conditions in public housing. Refunds were not brought up."

In a statement to PIX11 News, NYCHA said:

“We understand how hard this winter has been on many of our residents. Our focus is on fixing the underlying problems and upgrading our heating equipment as fast as possible to prevent future outages—and that’s where we’re devoting every resource we have.”

A lawyer said she’s given NYCHA until Feb. 21 to resolve the legal issue. But in the meantime, she wants to hear from you.

If you need help getting your heat or hot water from city housing, click here.