Even a lump of charcoal in their Christmas stockings would be better than that, as they could burn it to keep warm!
A day before Christmas Eve, more than 3,000 social housing residents faced the possibility of a silent, holy – and freezing – night due to the lack of heat in their apartments.
“All I want for Christmas is a little heat and a little hot water,” thundered Steven Tellie, 69, on Thursday.
Tellie, who lives in a seniors-only building in the Bronx River Houses complex in Soundview, said she complained to the struggling New York City Housing Authority when the heat turned off two weeks ago and called “At least 10 times” since then.
âIt’s a real horror show,â he said.
âSome residents are no longer inviting their families to Christmas because they will not be able to keep the children warm. “
Tellie added, “A lot of people keep their stoves on to stay warm, but that’s not good because carbon monoxide is a silent killer.”
Neighbor Odell Griggs, 77, said he spent his days in a recliner he had moved near the kitchen, where the stove’s four burners were blazing – despite the safety hazard.
âI leave the stove on day and night, even when I’m asleep,â he said.
“Without the stove, I would die here.”
A notice taped to the 70-unit building warned Thursday that there would be no heat “until further notice” and suggested residents stay warm at a nearby community center.
“Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused,” the advisory added.
The tenants also said there was no hot water, a claim confirmed by a Post reporter who felt a hot water faucet was cold for more than a minute.
Meanwhile, the entire 20-building Woodside Houses complex in Queens – which is home to nearly 2,900 tenants – was also without heat and hot water on Thursday, according to the NYCHA website.
One resident, a father who declined to give his name, said the blackout began on Wednesday morning.
âIt’s an ongoing problem. It’s especially difficult when the temperature drops below a certain point, âhe said.
âItâs terrible. Itâs unacceptable to have that happen around Christmas. Itâs no way to spend the holidays.
Other residents said they hadn’t noticed any problems.
The NYCHA website said the “entire development” outage of the Woodside Houses was reported at 9.45am Thursday and a third heat and hot water outage, at Forest Houses Building 8. in the Bronx – home to 170 residents – was reported at 5:59 p.m.
The lack of heat at the Bronx River Houses was not reported until 10 p.m. the day before, according to the site, which does not see any lack of hot water.
âNYCHA is covering itself,â said Norma Saunders, president of the Bronx River Houses Tenants Association. âNYCHA knew about this the day before yesterday. “
A NYCHA spokesperson said temperatures measured in the Bronx building between Dec. 15 and Monday showed “sufficient heat” and blamed the situation on a “riser leak requiring asbestos removal,” which was reported Wednesday evening.
Subsequent requests for comment on the situation at the Woodside and Forest houses were not immediately returned.