7 On Your Side helps Woodside residents without heat get answers

WOODSIDE, Queens (WABC) -- A building in Queens with no heat and hot water for two months, frustrated tenants and their councilman reached out to 7 On Your Side for help, and in the middle of it a resident suffers a 911 incident.

The thermometers in the building were reading less than 60 degrees when Eyewitness News visited, most are seniors, one went to a homeless shelter, but on the second floor one tenants who has been there since 1962 was sticking it out.

Her family says she suffered the consequences a day after 7 On Your Side met her.

"We have no heat, no hot water, nothing, long time!" said Josephina Rondon, a tenant.

After nine weeks of living in the cold Josephina Rondon was on her way in an ambulance to the hospital.

A neighbor called 911 to help her when she couldn't get up.

"She could hardly walk," said Barbara Rae, a tenant.

Just 24 hours before being taken to the hospital by FDNY EMTs, Josephina told 7 On Your Side how hard it's been to stay inside her freezing apartment.

"Rheumatoid asthma," Josephina said.

She was using a hot water bottle and boiling water on the stove to stay warm, and across the hall Rae, sleeps with three blankets on her bed.

"When its gets cold ice actually comes in here," Rae said.

Ice forming on an inside wall peeled the plaster off, the water only runs ice cold, fed-up tenants complained to their Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who called the conditions shameful.

"This landlord is absolutely trying to freeze these tenants out. They have lived here for 50 and 60 years, it is absolutely outrageous," Van Bramer said.

The landlord Michael Moy was sued by his tenants when the boiler and heat went out on January 25th.

Back on February 15th a judge ordered the owners to correct the violations within 24 hours.

"Your tenants have no heat or hot water, Josephina left in an ambulance today you can't leave your tenants with no heat and hot water she's 90 years old. What's your explanation?" 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda said.

The landlady Lina Moy pretended to not understand English, yet her tenants said she's fluent.

"That was baloney, absolute baloney," said Thomas Comerford, a tenant.

"So she speaks English well?" Pineda said.

"Absolutely," Comerford said.

"I know you understand me, I can tell," Pineda said to Moy.

The building co-owner eventually dropped the charade and began working with 7 On Your Side.

After 7 On Your Side alerted the Department of Buildings and National Grid of the problem, both came out to inspect immediately and the landlady promised to finally correct all the violations.

"Thank you so much Nina, so much, we appreciate it so much," Comerford said.

Thursday morning the DOB received an application to renovate the boiler, the landlady said they are not attempting to get their rent-controlled tenants to vacate and instead said it's been a misunderstanding about what permits were necessary.

The DOB said it's expediting the application and National Grid is standing by to fire up the heat there as soon as they get the green light.
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