Riis Building Residents Without Hot Water for Weeks

The Housing Authority discovered the source of the problem late Tuesday after inquiries by NBC New York

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC New York

    For weeks, Bianna DeLeon has had to boil water on an electric stove or in a microwave so that she can bathe her 6-month-old son inside her kitchen sink.

    Ever since gas was shut off in her apartment at the Jacob Riis Houses at 466 East 10th St. on Dec. 2, DeLeon hasn't been able to use her range and hasn't had hot water on a reliable basis.

    "I don't think we should have to go through this," she said. "This is going on in small countries -- countries that don't have efficiencies like in the United States."

    The New York City Housing Authority said gas service was shut down to the Lower East Side complex so it could repair a gas line.

    But weeks later, tenants say they're still without hot water.

    "You get hot water for 15 minutes, and then you turn it back on again, and you wait 20 minutes for the water to get hot again," said Suzie Ayala.

    The Housing Authority said at first Tuesday it wasn't aware of any hot water complaints, though it promised to investigate.

    But later that night, a spokeswoman said a worker discovered a defective hot water return valve in a crawl space that was difficult to access. Plumbers from the Housing Authority will be sent to repair it Wednesday, the spokeswoman said.

    The agency added that the gas service disruption only affected residents in one part of the complex that includes 12 apartments.

    The Housing Authority said the gas line repair has been made but is waiting for Con Edison to coordinate with them so that gas service could be turned on by Friday.

    DeLeon hopes the Housing Authority keeps its word about restoring the gas line before the weekend so that her first Christmas with her son is a memorable one.

    "I would love to put my son in the tub and give him a nice bubble bath -- a nice Christmas thing, at least," she said.