‘Might as well sleep outside’: Bronx NYCHA senior building without heat for months, residents say

Monica Makes It Happen
Bronx NYCHA building

Bronx River Houses residents say they’re frustrated by heating issues.

THE BRONX — An ice storm is in the forecast this week and seniors at one New York City Housing Authority building said they haven’t had heat or hot water in over three months.

Steve Tellie, 68, could not hold back the tears as the frustrated resident described living in a freezing apartment for three months.

“I’m just tired,” Tellie said. “I just want me and people to get some heat. I’m so cold, I might as well sleep outside.”

Tellie said he thought it couldn’t get any worse, but then it did when a pipe burst in the hallway on the sixth floor of his building. Water also flowed into the lobby.

Resident Miguel Espinoza, 75, said he’s worried about another cold night.

Bronx River Houses Tenant Association President Norma Saunders showed PIX11 how seniors try and block their windows from the cold air.

“Think about our parents,” Saunders said. “Would you want your parents to live like this?”

Bronx District Manager William Rivera said restoring the heat here is a health emergency.

“It’s a basic human right, heat or hot water -especially this time of year,” Rivera said. “It’s very cold. If other landlords were doing this, it would be criminal.”

PIX11 reached out to NYCHA.

A spokesperson told PIX11 the agency is looking into these complaints. In the meantime, Rivera delivered a new space heater to Steve Tellie to help him stay warm.

“We’ve restored heat, hot water and elevator service to one of the elevators,” a NYCHA spokesperson told PIX11 Monday evening. “Staff is still working on the second elevator and confirming temperatures in the building. Plumbers were able to complete repairs to a ruptured hydronic heat line on a sixth floor hallway. We were able to quickly respond to this due to additional teams that were deployed due to the cold weather conditions and holiday weekend.”

If you have problems with your heat or hot water, reach out to Monica Morales at monica@pix11.com

Trending Stories

Connect with PIX11 Online

Connect with PIX11 Online

Don't Miss

Latest Video

Chill returns Thursday and through the weekend

Local group supports minority owned businesses during time of need

NYC looks to improve high-speed internet access and affordability

Lawmakers agree on stimulus limits

Yankees manager Aaron boon receives pacemaker, takes leave of absence

Thursday marks one year since first COVID-19 case in NJ

Cuomo says he won't resign in the wake of scandals

NYPD Asian Hate Crime Task Force investigating unprovoked attack

Chill returns after a stunning Wednesday