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Heat Finally Restored At NYCHA Buildings After CBS2 Demands Answers For Tenants Left Without Gas Service

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Hundreds of New York City Housing Authority residents finally have their heat back on.

CBS2's Hazel Sanchez demanded answers from the housing authority before the city took action on Thursday.

For $600 a month, 80-year-old Larry Keyes rents a NYCHA studio on West 91st Street on the Upper West Side that had no gas service for nearly two weeks.

Keyes said his heat had not been working at all, until Thursday. Friends were bringing over blankets to help him stay warm.

"Feel like you wanna cry, but you just hold back the tears. That's all," Keyes said.

He lives in one of 16 NYCHA brownstones on W. 91st and 90th streets.

On Wednesday, CBS2 visited the buildings that lost gas service on Oct. 18 for, what NYCHA noted as, emergency repairs.

Tenants said they hadn't seen any crews working to fix the problems.

"It doesn't seem to be urgent for them," one person said.

"This is no way to live," said Keri Cornwall, a tenant. "We might as well live in the street. We do better out there than we do in here, and we're paying for this, for service we're not getting."

MORE: Hundreds Of Families In NYCHA Buildings Without Heat, Gas As Temperatures Start To Drop

NYCHA did not respond to our questions Wednesday, but finally acted Thursday.

Crews restored heat in the buildings in the morning, but the agency said it's still trying to coordinate with an outside vendor to fix the gas problem.

Some of the buildings went without gas service for an entire year beginning on Thanksgiving in 2018.

Lynne Patton, regional director at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said she'll contact the federal monitor assigned to make sure the beleaguered housing authority is doing its job.

Sanchez asked, "Will you have those regional monitors go to these buildings then, to make sure they're not going to go an entire year again, even through the holidays, with no heat?"

"Absolutely. It can't happen. It just can't happen," Patton said.

"They may notify the federal monitors, but as of anyone actually showing up, I have yet to see that happen," said a tenant.

Tenants said they shouldn't be paying to live without basic services they need to survive.


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