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'This Is Ridiculous,' Bronx Public Housing Residents Say NYCHA Left Them In The Cold

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The extreme cold has been simply inescapable for residents of a Bronx high-rise that's run by the city.

They've been without heat since before the holidays.

"It's freezing in here, like we're outside," Laquana Ruiz said.

Ruiz and her 7-year-old said they've been shivering inside their 19th floor apartment in the Bronx since well before Christmas.

"This is ridiculous, two weeks in the sky, freezing cold, what's going on?" she said.

She's been steaming the apartment non-stop with a pot of water inside an oven set to 500 degrees and the door wide open.

"That's the only way we can keep warm," she said.

Residents throughout the building have been bundling up in blankets and layers, saying every floor of the Mott Haven housing project on 141st Street has been without heat during one of the most severe cold snaps of the season.

Frances De Leon said he's been relying on an open flame to stay warm.

"We have no choice," he said.

They know the ignited burners and the space heaters could be a fire hazard, but with multiple calls to the city and no answers other than 'we're working on it' residents feel ignored.

"They're not doing anything about it. They're dismissing us," Jennifer Justiniano said.

They don't know how else to keep their families -- including children and grandparents -- from freezing.

"Technically they're not even treating us like humans. It's just so bad for us," Elaine Cedeno said.

CBS2 called the New York City Housing Authority to demand answers on the dangerous situation.

NYCHA initially said it's been dealing with numerous complaints about heat in the Bronx and will head to Mott Haven to figure out the problem and restore heat as soon as possible. Following a CBS2 report, residents said a representative was sent to the building.

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