Some NYCHA residents suffering through brutal cold with no heat

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AJ Ross has more on NYCHA residents dealing with no heat in the Soundview section of the Bronx.

It is beyond unbearable and inhumane to not have heat in sub-zero temperatures, but NYCHA residents across the city say they have been suffering through the cold snap with no relief in sight.

Eyewitness News was at the Sotomayor Houses on Friday night and were told by NYCHA that help was on the way, but the pipes are still cold and people are still using space heaters and other dangerous means to get by.

Friday was yet another sleepless night for Cecilia Quinones and her 7-month-old daughter Zaley, tucked away surrounded by space heaters inside the Sotomayor Houses. They were shivering with no heat inside their apartment.

"I'm hoping housing does something about the heat, because it's really bad," says Quinones.

NYCHA issued a statement to Eyewitness News Friday night claiming technicians were on the way to perform heat repairs, but both Quinones and her neighbor, Michelle Torres say they haven't seen any improvement.

"I got a response (Saturday) around 12 o'clock stating that it was completely restored, and I responded back saying 'absolutely not,'" added Torres.

It is a heating crisis that NYC comptroller Scott Stringer says his officer first identified in 2015, and it has since gotten worse with NYCHA boilers five times more defective than the citywide average.

"If you live in NYCHA there's a 40 percent chance you're in a building with a defective boiler, but for people who don't live in NYCHA it's just seven percent. This is discrimination, this is outrageous and enough is enough," said Stringer.

Stringer says his office is now launching a new audit of NYCHA heating systems to pressure systematic maintenance changes from within, but many NYCHA residents believe these ongoing issues extend to housing discrimination.

NYCHA released a statement saying, "Our staff is working 24/7 to combat this extraordinary cold spell that has battered the city. This weekend we are focused on ensuring heat is on in all NYCHA developments. We will cooperate fully with Comptroller Stringer as we all want the same thing: safe, clean and connected communities for all New York City public housing residents."
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