Residents of a Brooklyn public housing complex were boiling mad Friday after a steam line connection problem left them without heat on the coldest day of the year.
Tenants in NYCHA”s Independence Towers in Williamsburg were dressing in layers, and bundled in hats, gloves and scarves — and this was before they went outside. To keep their homes warm, residents relied on electric heaters, open stoves and pots filled with scalding hot water.
All six towers in the complex were having heat and hot water issues, according to residents, and some said the problems have been going on all week.
“It’s terrible that it’s like this right now because we have no heat or hot water,” said Jerrel Jasper, 31, who has lived in Independence for eight months. “It has been at least two days and we have no heat or hot water and it’s cold outside. It’s like this every other week.”
Montana Bullock, 27, who has lived in the complex for a year with her siblings and parents, said she didn’t know what else to do.
“We’ve called 311, we’ve called management. It’s insane,” Bullock said. “At night we have to bundle up with three or four blankets “
One tenant, who did not want to be named, said the lack of heat was aggravating her sickle cell anemia condition.
“We don’t get hot water at night. It’s always cold,” the woman, 35, said. “It has been out since Wednesday. Monday was the last time it was out before then. There have been 11 days this year … maybe five or six of those days there has been hot water. The cold triggers a sickle cell crisis. Any time I get cold, I get pain instantly.”
A NYCHA spokesman said issues with a steam line connecting mobile boilers was to blame for the heating outage, and that service had been restored on Friday — although the heat was still not on in some places when the Daily News visited in late afternoon.
The outage stretched into what was the coldest day of the year, with temperatures that hovered near 20 degrees Friday, and a wind chill factor that made the air feel colder.
The complex is one of nine city housing developments in the city that are part of a new NYCHA plan called PACT, a public/private partnership to perform millions of dollars in repairs. But the bidding process for the project has just begun, and can’t come fast enough for frustrated tenants.