Some NYCHA tenants in Queens say they haven’t had heat for almost 1 year


NEW YORK — Colder temperatures are heading our way and tenants from a NYCHA housing complex in Queens are concerned they’ll have to face another winter with no heat.

They tell CBS2’s Alecia Reid they can’t get a solid answer from anyone.

“It’s been going on for too long, for too long. A lot of elderly folks and children,” one tenant said.

Some tenants of the Astoria Houses say they haven’t had heat since last December, and they’re tired of complaining.

“I have to wear sweaters, jackets, sometimes hats, everything in my house,” tenant Anita Luker said.

RELATED STORY: Lawmakers, NYCHA tenants demand agency do more to improve living conditions

That’s one way people have been dealing. But Barbara Torres, who has been a tenant for upwards of 20 years, has a list of dates and times she has taken NYCHA to court.

“This here is February 16th that I took them to court. Here, four, five and six, no heat,” she said.

In the meantime, she has resorted to using portable heaters, but they’ve burnt plugs and outlets.

“Today, they had to come change and my sockets because of the space heater because it’s brittle,” Torres said.

CBS2 previously visited Astoria Houses on Nov. 20 for complaints of no heat and followed a subsequent rally at City Hall to protest NYCHA’s shortcomings, but at the time, NYCHA claimed there were no outages.

READ MORE: “No heat, no hot water, no rent”: Astoria Houses residents frustrated by recurring heat, hot water outages

“It’s not fair that we have to pay our rent with no heat,” Torres said.

Heat isn’t the only concern.

Some tenants say they are dealing with sewage seeping into their bathtubs and unknown substances on their walls. Fearful of retaliation, many don’t push the issue, but Torres went to court for the asbestos in her bathroom.

“To be exposed to it through the mold, through all this stuff, and I had to fight so hard in court for them to come knock down the wall,” she said.

Torres says the next time she will face NYCHA in court for the heat-related complaints is Dec. 19. We did reach out to NYCHA for comment in regards to the accusations. So far, we haven’t heard back.



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