Heat safety: Stories meant to help protect New York’s Very Own

Residents at senior living building without heat or hot water since Thanksgiving

NEW YORK — Shinda Management Corporation is back in the news again over its failure to provide adequate heat and hot water to elderly tenants—this time in Harlem.

“I’ve called 311, I guess they’re tired of me," Geneva Hutcherson said. "Five different inspectors have come in the last two weeks."

Hutcherson, 78, saw our last report on a Shina-managed senior living building in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, where Joe Lo Giudice and his fellow tenants have been without hot water for almost two weeks.

Hutcherson and her neighbors on West 116th haven’t had heat since Thanksgiving.

“All the windows are blocked with all types of plastics, and material, and towels," Hutcherson said.

Both of the windows in Hutcherson’s apartment are sealed shut – no fresh air or daylight gets in.

She’s also using multiple space heaters, pots of boiling water, and her oven to keep warm.

And after already going weeks with no heat, Hutcherson says Shinda blew yesterday’s deadline to install a temporary boiler.

We checked -- her unit’s built-in baseboard heaters – are still ice cold.

"You’re a manager," Hutcherson said. "You mean to tell me you’re not going to check your boilers, before the onset of winter?”

We left a message with Shinda Management about Hutcherson’s building, and we also decided to follow up with Lo Giudice over in Brooklyn.

A day after our interview with Lo Giudice told us crews finally arrived at the building with what appeared to be new heating equipment for the boiler.

And sure enough, a Shinda employee tersely told me over the phone, “We are aware of the situation, and we are handling it.”

Back in Harlem, where Shinda is also having problems fulfilling its management responsibilities to its tenants, Hutcherson is fuming.

“I need heat, because if I don’t – it’s detrimental to my health,” Hutcherson said.

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