NYCHA residents need heat amid bitter cold

Monica Makes It Happen
A Stove.png

The stove Sara Taylor is running at her apartment to stay warm.

QUEENS — The bitter cold has arrived outdoors in New York City, but for many public housing residents, it’s just as cold inside their apartments.

In Queens, two developments are struggling to get their heat back on. Sara Taylor sent PIX11 News video from inside her cold apartment at the Queensbridge Houses. She’s been running pots of hot water on the stove to keep her family warm.

“We’ve been struggling for some time now. I keep putting in tickets for them to come repair it,” said Taylor.

For years, PIX11 News has been fighting for NYCHA tenants who continue to have heat problems.

Kiesha Gilyard also lives in the Queensbridge Houses. She sent PIX11 News a photo of how she dresses inside, wearing her coat and hat in her living room.

“I’ve called 13 times for heat, 13 tickets I put in. They have maintenance come in, look at the pipes, I guess to make it look good. It’s still cold,” said Gilyard.

Stan Morse and Lashawn “Suga Ray” Marston are both Queens community leaders fighting for residents in NYCHA. Morse says it’s not just Queensbridge, as he got “five or six” calls from freezing families at the Astoria Houses too.

“These people should be compensated. They have been forced to live in deplorable conditions. Someone has to do something ASAP,” said Marston.

Along with Astoria Mutual Aid, Marston’s Gofundme page has raised over $11,000 to help buy heaters for families. They’ve now purchased 300 space heaters from a local hardware store and will start giving them out this weekend, including to Sara Taylor and Keisha Gilyard.

We reached out to NYCHA and they said they’ve been looking into the situation.

“Staff visited the buildings and apartments you noted,” a NYCHA spokesperson told PIX11 News. “None of the buildings had any open work orders. Staff took random temperatures to ensure heat was present.

At Gilyard’s apartment, NYCHA reps said temperatures were all between 73 and 74 degrees. At Taylor’s apartment, they said there was heat in all the risers but temperatures fluctuated between 66 and 69 degrees.
NYCHA said that staff is working to troubleshoot the issue and will take follow-up temperatures.

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

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