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Elected Officials Call on NYCHA to Repair Heating Plant at Woodside Houses

State Sen. Mike Gianaris, Councilmember Julie Won (speaking), Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas and State Sen. Jessica Ramos at Woodside Houses Wednesday morning (Photo courtesy of CM Won)

Oct. 5. 2022 By Christian Murray

Several elected officials held a press conference at Woodside Houses Wednesday morning to call on NYCHA to fix the complex’s broken heating system that has left many residents without reliable heat and hot water for more than a year.

Council Member Julie Won, State Senators Michael Gianaris and Jessica Ramos, as well as Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas held the press conference to call on NYCHA to make good on its promise to repair the heating plant.

The elected officials had been promised back in January that the plant would be repaired by April. They visited the complex at the time due to repeated outages.

The heating plant, which supplies heat and hot water to 2,900 tenants in the 20-building development, flooded during Hurricane Ida and it has been out of order ever since.

NYCHA has installed mobile boiler units to provide heat and hot water to tenants while the heating plant is down. However, residents say, the mobile units are not reliable.

Since September 2021, there have been 21 occasions when the entire complex has been without hot water—and 11 instances when the public housing development has been without heating, the lawmakers said, citing city data.

On Tuesday, there was a heat and hot water outage, although NYCHA has resolved the issue.

“We stood in this same spot last winter where NYCHA promised to fix the heating plant by April,” Won said, referring to the January visit. “It is now October, and Woodside Houses residents are now facing another brutal winter without heat and hot water. We demand that NYCHA fix the heating plant immediately and provide a timeline for when the repairs will be finished.”

Won said that she is concerned that residents will have no choice but to use dangerous space heaters or stovetops to keep themselves warm. She said the use of alternative heating methods raises serious safety concerns for residents.

González-Rojas said that NYCHA needs to live up to its promise and repair the plant.

“Since January of this year, we’ve been aware of issues with the boiler at the NYCHA Woodside Houses and frequent heat and hot water outages,” Gonzalez Rojas said. “For ten months we’ve tracked outages at Woodside Houses, and yet we still see the same negligence today.”

But heating issues have been a problem for decades, according to Ramos, and the latest problem she said is nothing new.

“I wish we could say these heating issues at Woodside Houses stemmed from Hurricane Ida, but the reality is the tenants have been dealing with this for as long as I can remember,” Ramos said. “As a child in the neighborhood, I would have to wear a coat indoors during my playdates with friends who live here.”

NYCHA said that it was not an easy task to get the heating plant back in working order.

The agency said that it has already spent more than $1.4 million to repair the plant, which was compromised by decades of deterioration and flooding caused by Hurricane Ida. It also installed mobile units.

“Our staff installed three mobile boilers after the hurricane, which have been providing heat consistently, and have since been working with the Department of Buildings, Con Edison, and several heating and plumbing teams to ensure that our boilers are fully operational,” a spokesperson for NYCHA said.

The agency did not provide a timeline as to when the heating plant will be back in operation.

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18 Comments

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Water man

I’ve lived in the neighborhood for over 50 years and until IDA, I don’t recall hearing about flooding in Woodside Houses from storm water. Can anyone help with historic information?

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You get what you don't pay for.

Or in this case, you don’t get what you don’t pay for.

Adult up and take care of yourself.

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JoeBama Magoo

hey julie, where did that 100 billion dollar nyc budget go to? you’re a politician, you should know the answer. you cant even fix a simple boiler so poor people can get heat?

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Anonymous

If Julie Won really wants to help she should assist the tenants in organizing a rent strike and divesting from NYCHA full stop by forming a Resident Management Corporation and Community Land Trust. Let’s cut through the B.S. and address the root issue.

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Daniela

Fake news. Trump did nothing to help poor people, immigrants or blk and brn people according to Dems.

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Jean G.

I dont care what u think about Trump but at least he didnt have All of these asylums bussed over to NY. He gave us stimulus checks when pandemic started. What is Biden doing ???

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Anonymous

Biden is providing the asylum seekers. They don’t remotely qualify for asylum but everyone already knows that.

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Anonymous

It’s nice that all these local electeds have figured out Woodside houses is in their respective districts. Hopefully they can start paying attention to the residents of public housing rather than always catering to the far left DSA-contingent controlled by REBNY.

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Freddy

DSA and REBNY are enemies. Someone hoodwinked you into thinking otherwise. REBNY spent a truckload of money trying to defeat DSA candidates because they fear working people getting organized.

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Anonymous

Didn’t some members of DSA just support Tiffany caban’s decision to rezone and allow a a huge residential tower to be built near Astoria houses? Haven’t some members of DSA changed their views on allowing private sector development? Which organization is going to benefit from this sudden change of attitude? Oh that’s right, REBNY. Face it DSA is working behind the scenes with REBNY. So sorry that you can’t see it.

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Talitha

My apartment is freezing. Tired of walking around the house with my winter jacket and snow boots.

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lucky number 7 train

So this story is about a bunch of local politicians that nycha doesn’t listen to and just yes dears them. lol! thanks for the tears kids but you have done nothing accept show up to a photo shoot. This problem should have been riden weekly to get the work done. Thats what it takes in property management. Fail!

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Lanza Disciple

Remember when Rob Nelson from ABC7NY did a live remote from NYCHA Woodside regarding this exact situation? Nope. Me neither…

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