Thousands of public housing residents are estimated to be without heat and hot water this cold and chilly Friday morning.
Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to call 311 at a press conference on Thursday.
“Anyone who does not have hot water or heat in their building needs to call 311 right away,” de Blasio said.
According to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), there were 1,262 open tickets for heat issues (out of 176,000 public housing apartments) at 8 am Friday morning.
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“These could refer to individual units that are having issues with their radiators, windows not closing properly or there is an outage in the building or development,” a spokesperson for NYCHA said.
Whenever an outage is recorded, NYCHA sends an automatic robocall to all affected residents. According to the spokesperson, the average outage is restored within five hours.
Though the “Bomb Cyclone” hit the city on Thursday, January 4, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ office said it had been receiving complaints of no heat and hot water dating back through the previous week, and received about a dozen as a result of the storm.
“Severely cold conditions in the last few weeks are exacerbating a severe problem in our city’s public housing stock. Decades of mismanagement and underfunding have eroded the quality of critical NYCHA infrastructure that impacts basic health and safety,” Adams’ spokesperson told BKLYNER. “For example, we were focused a couple of years ago on a roof repair crisis that led to leaks, flooding, and mold formation, as well as strained boilers and greater building emissions due to poor insulation.”
Adams stressed the importance of emergency funds.
“Now, in this most bitter of cold snaps, these aforementioned boilers, pipes, and pumps are failing and in need of immediate replacement. This is only the beginning of the season, and emergency funds are needed,” his spokesperson said.
District 33 Council Member Stephen Levin’s office say, there have been numerous complaints regarding the lack of hot water and heat in Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, Vinegar Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, and Bedford–Stuyvesant.
NYCHA closed around 10,000 heat related work orders this weekend, a NYCHA spokesperson told BKLYNER on Friday.
“Our residents deserve safe, warm homes in the winter and our staff is working 24/7 to repair outages as quickly as possible. We must do better for our residents,” the spokesperson said.
For those who still have not received hot water and heat, NYCHA urges residents to reach out.
“All residents should report any heat issues to NYCHA as soon as possible. They can do this via the MyNYCHA app or by calling the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771. NYCHA staff is working 24/7 to respond to all issues as quickly as possible.”