NYCHA tenants file lawsuit for rent break after losing heat

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Public housing tenants are suing the New York City Housing Authority, demanding a rent break after they were left out in the cold.

The proposed class-action suit claims that NYCHA broke the law by allowing residents to go without heat or hot water this winter.

The litigation was filed Thursday in State Supreme Court.

"The law is very clear: NYCHA is legally required to seamlessly provide these utilities to residents. When that promise is broken, there is a price that must be paid," said Lucy Newman, Staff Attorney of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society. "We afforded the City plenty of time to make this right on their own, but they ignored our calls. NYCHA's fiscal problems do not excuse their failure to ensure that units are habitable."

The lawsuit comes as lawmakers, residents, and advocates have been criticizing the agency over heat and hot water issues, mold and lead paint.

Earlier this week, agency head Shola Olatoye announced she would resign.

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