No gas for Thanksgiving, NYCHA offers tenants $15 gift cards

ByEyewitness News, Tom Negovan WABC logo
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
NYCHA offers tenants 15 gift cards after four-month gas outage
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Tom Negovan has the details.

EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Dozens of NYCHA residents say they will not have enough heat for the holidays, and that they will be unable to prepare their Thanksgiving meals.

In response, the New York City Housing Authority is offering each resident a $15 gift card.

Many tenants at a NYCHA complex in East New York say they have not been able to cook since July 17, when the gas to their stoves was shut off.

"Because of the gas outage at your development, NYCHA will be providing a 15-dollar gift card for every authorized household member you have," an official said in a phone message to tenants.

Many residents of the Long Island Baptist Houses in Brooklyn find the offer of a $15 gift card as compensation for four months without gas to cook to be insulting. They say they have no way to prepare their Thanksgiving meals this holiday, even though they have been provided with hot plates from NYCHA.

In fact, they claim all the hot plates are good for is driving up their electricity bills.

"One day, to make just white rice, it took me three hours," said one tenant. "It's very outrageous, and I spoke to the management office, and they told me that there is nothing they can do about it."

While the tenants are not completely without heat, many of them say what they have is not enough. Plus, they say they have other safety concerns.

"Gas service interruptions and restoration work are a matter of public safety and involve multiple partners and steps, including shutting off service, making necessary repairs, inspections and coordinating with service vendors, in order to safely restore service as quickly as possible. These processes are currently underway at Long Island Baptist Houses, where service was shut off as a precaution due to a leak in the basement gas main and asbestos abatement was required before new piping could begin to be installed. Residents in need of assistance are encouraged to call the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771," NYCHA said in a statement.

Many of the tenants were reluctant to share their names or appear on camera for fear of retribution from management.

"We pay rent, we have lives- I have a job," said another tenant. "This is distasteful to say the least."

Eyewitness News approached the local NYCHA management office to ask when the gas might be turned back on.

"I do not have any comment on any of that," one of the office workers said.

ALSO READ | Thousands of NYCHA apartments sit empty as wait continues for potential tenants

7 On Your Side Investigative reporter Dan Krauth found that there are big delays when it comes to the city turning around apartments to new tenants.

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