Follow-up Friday: Restoring heat in the Bronx; retired NYCHA worker gets new home

Local News

NEW YORK – It’s a new year, but it’s the same old problems for people who live at the Marble Hill Houses. 

Bronx mother of three Amanda Guzman said she was starting 2022 frustrated and freezing.

Guzman has had inconsistent heat and hot water for days. She is worried about her health, but also the health of her oldest son, 11-year-old Geovany, who is living with autism.  

“I’m on dialysis. It makes me sick on and off,” said Guzman.  

Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz reached out to PIX11 News to help shine a light on what he calls chronic problems at this Bronx NYCHA development.  

Dinowitz said it’s not just heat and hot water outages, but there are gas outages here too.  An entire line of tenants, 14 families, since early November, cannot cook on their stoves.  “You think they would learn from their past mistakes and incompetence. This is unacceptable and outrageous for anyone to put up with this,” said Dinowitz.  

Edwards said heat and hot water has since been restored. 

A NYCHA spokesperson told PIX11 News, “Gas restoration for this development requires an asbestos investigation, which is scheduled for this weekend. The next step is dependent on the results of the asbestos investigation and will determine the length of time for restoration. If asbestos are found, NYCHA will hire a vendor for remediation. If there are no asbestos, we can begin repairs immediately. We will keep residents and the public apprised of our progress as we move through the necessary critical steps to restore services.”

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Eric Hertzog said it broke his heart every time he visited his brothers’ home.  

Hertzog said his three brothers lived in the apartment that he says is unlivable. 

Hertzog’s brother Charles was a retired NYCHA worker. He worked at a Staten Island development as a caretaker for over 25 years.  

He spent his life fixing other people’s NYCHA apartments and now when he needs help, it feels like he can’t get help.  

“They really don’t care. They must have other work to do,” said Charles Hertzog.  It’s not just Hertzog’s living room, but his kitchen cabinets are rotting away. The ceiling in his bathroom is covered in mold and falling apart. His bedroom ceiling is falling apart too. 

Hertzog’s father was also a retired NYCHA worker, a heat technician and a deacon. Hertzog proudly displays his fathers retirement plaque, right next to the living room wall that’s deteriorating.  

Hertzog showed us all the repair tickets, filed and then closed. NYCHA has placed Hertzog into a new apartment until repairs are complete.  PIX11 News will stay on this story. 

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For months now, the walls of a Lower East Side community center have become eyesores.  To combat the rise of graffiti, the community is coming together to try and fix it by replacing it with something beautiful.

The graffiti is a problem that keeps coming back: On walls, the air conditioning units, even near the front door of the Grand St. Settlement’s Youth Center at NYCHA’s Seward Park Houses. Laura Li, the site director, said they have hit six times in just the past three months.  Their surveillance cameras have captured pictures of the vandals in the act.  

Li said those photos have been sent to the police, but she said she sees an opportunity to strike back with a paint brush and create a new mural on top of it. 

NYCHA crews have power washed the walls and hopes to hire a local artist to create a mural on the wall of the community center, according to Li.

If you want to help donate to the new mural, click here.  

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