Residents of Jersey City building struggle with no heat as temps drop
Tenants in a Jersey City apartment building say that they are forced to battle frigid temperatures in their homes because the heat is not working.
The building is located on the corner of Gray and Wayne streets. Residents have been huddled together in the stairwell with coats on to stay warm.
“All the time, ‘I’m cold. Papa, I’m cold. I’m cold.’ What can I do?” asks Mustapha Elhorki, regarding his children.
Elhorki has lived in the building for two years.
“More than one week, no heater. I have two children. We have asthma. With the children, we have asthma. I can’t stay like that,” he says.
Temperatures across New Jersey have dropped over the last few days, on top of a weekend snowstorm. The tenants say the heat has been off ever since the fire department turned it off after someone smelled gas.
“They came in and they went to the basement. And I guess they measured the gas, how high it was down there. I could have sworn I heard one of them say it was 1,500,” says Judy Otero.
Otero has lived in the building for about 34 years. She says that she has seen it all, and that this isn’t the first time the building has been without heat. But she says that this is the longest it has been.
“Now they’re saying two weeks or possibly three. I don’t know,” she says.
Tenants were given space heaters to stay warm in the meantime. But they say their electric bills are going up and the rent is still due.
“We don’t get it free and we don’t take it off the rent either. I think that’s very unfair, for not only myself, but everybody else in the building,” says Otero.
The building is managed by Brooklyn-based Green Management. A spokesperson says the boiler broke down four days ago and they immediately sent a plumber. They are now waiting for a new boiler and hope that the issue will be fixed as soon as possible.
Green Management says that it is using caution when it comes to space heaters to prevent a fire hazard. It says that only approved equipment is being delivered for use.