Grassroots initiative will give hundreds of space heaters to Queens NYCHA residents

Monica Makes It Happen

QUEENS — Inconsistent heat is a reoccurring problem at the New York City Housing Authority’s Queensbridge Houses every winter, Suga Ray Marston, the founder of Transform America, said.

With 96 buildings, Queensbridge houses is the largest public housing development in New York City and the country. PIX11 has been here before over the years, fighting for families with no heat.

“People need warm clothing and they need heat. It’s freezing outside and inside too,” said Marston.

Marston decided to do something about it, so he started buying space heaters for families. He teamed up with Arielle Siegel, with the Astoria Mutual Aid Network, and started the “Keep Queens Warm Initiative.”

Together, they launched a social media campaign and raised over $11,000.

“It’s a shame. It’s New York City, the richest city in the world. If they aren’t going to step up, we are,” Siegel said.

They plan on buying hundreds of heaters from a local hardware store and are putting up flyers to get the word out. Distribution begins the first week of February.

A NYCHA spokesperson tells us they have had no outages at Queensbridge North this heating season, which began Oct. 1, and two heat outages at Queensbridge South this heating season.

“NYCHA has invested more than $45 million to upgrade heat and hot water equipment as well as related heating system parts since the start of 2020,” the spokesperson said. “NYCHA has 70 new heating plant technicians and 28 plumbing teams to provide 24 hour help.”

If you want more information or want to support the initiative, click here.

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