Senior citizens plead for help after forced to live without heat in Flushing NYCHA building

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Josh Einiger has the story from Flushing. (WABC)

Weakened by cancer, and chilled to the bone, Cynthia Johnson is at her wits end.

Johnson called Eyewitness News on Sunday night to show us the way she and her neighbors are forced to live - boiling water on the stove, and bundling up inside for warmth, because the boiler gave out on Saturday. Johnson says the Housing Authority never came to fix it.

"I called so many times, that's why I had to call (Eyewitness News) - because I couldn't take it anymore," she says.

The building, part of the Leavitt Houses in Flushing, is exclusively for senior citizens.

Tenant Association President Molly Lloyd says the boiler is constantly on the fritz, but as fast as workers can fix it, it fails again.

"They'll fix it like say, during the week, and then when they're not here for us to get in touch with them, it's ice cold," adds Lloyd.

Citywide, NYCHA says 950 boilers, roughly half of their buildings, are in need of replacement. On Sunday they promised rapid response teams would react to any no-heat complaints.

"(They) tell me call the 911, tell me call the 311," says resident Xiong Chen.

The Leavitt Houses residents got nowhere until they called Eyewitness News. Shortly after Channel 7 called the housing authority, two workers arrived. For longtime tenants, it just isn't enough.

"We are seniors, and we pay our rent every month. You know they don't have to say we're delinquent with our rent. And why should I go through this?" Lloyd says.

NYCHA restored heat after Eyewitness reached out and will continue to monitor the situation there.
Related Topics:
newscoldwinterseniorshousingNYCHAFlushingNew York City
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