MANHATTAN — More than 7,000 NYCHA residents were without heat or hot water at some point through this bone-chilling Friday night in New York City.
By around 10 p.m., just under 2,500 were without heat or hot water within the New York City public housing.
But Nichelle Thompson, 53, is preparing herself, her son, her daughter-in-law and 7-year-old granddaughter to sleep in the living of their two bedroom apartment in Manhattan. They’re bundled up in winter coats and lots of comforters on the coldest night of the season so far.
The family hasn’t had heat for five weeks in their top-floor NYCHA apartment in the Jefferson Houses on Third Avenue. How do they sleep at night?
“I put the oven on, pots of water,” Thompson said. “I stay up all night because of the fumes. It’s not good for us.”
The family worries about the open flames on the stove and how this drafty apartment will affect 7-year-old Emily, who has asthma.
“Sometimes I sleep with more shirts on,” Emily said. Her father Daniel said he lets them sleep but he stays up because he fears of something happening to his family.
Thompson is a frontline worker at Metropolitan Hospital who has been out of work since she fractured her ankle in September. She showed PIX11 News the 11 ticket numbers for repairs she has submitted to NYCHA dating back to Christmas and still, she said, nothing happens:
“Two weeks ago, a young lady came. She checked the radiators, all icy cold. She said she’s going to put the heat up but nothing came up, she said she was coming back Tuesday.” But she never came, according to Thompson.
Unfortunately, their story is not unique, especially on this cold Friday night. Among the 7,000 without hot water or heat included the 21 buildings at the Ingersoll Houses in Brooklyn, affecting more than 4,000 residents. There were also outages in seven buildings at the Polo Grounds Towers on Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem, affecting 3,800 residents.
Nichelle Thompson’s next door neighbor hasn’t had heat for five weeks either:
“We call them all the time,” said Michelle Ravelo.
For Thompson, she said it’s a matter of fairness.
“I pay my rent, I should be able to sleep in comfort,” she said.
PIX11 News reached out to NYCHA about repairs to Thompson’s apartment Friday.