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Residents complain about heating problems at Little Lehigh Apartments

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 03 2014 05:01:43 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 03 2014 06:22:44 PM CST

What would you do if your house was cold in this weather?

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

What would you do if your house was cold in this weather?

It's a reality some Allentown public housing residents say they're living with.

But housing authority officials say no one is being left in the cold.

Aderma Alvarez and Nayshaly Rodriguez say they're cold.

The women are part of a group of residents from the Little Lehigh Apartments on Lawrence Street who say their heat doesn't work properly.

"The heat is too low. It's too cold in here," said Alvarez.

When we got to Alvarez's apartment, the baseboard radiators were cold, the thermostat was maxed out, but the temperature reading was only 58 degrees.

The two women say they have called the Allentown Housing Authority to look into the heating problem, but were told repeatedly there was nothing wrong, that the readings were around 72 degrees.

"It doesn't feel like it's on 72 it feels like it's lower," said Rodriguez.

69 News contacted the Allentown housing authority about the residents' claims.

"I am not surprised that there is concerns with the residents about their heat. You can see when we get calls we go out," said Housing Authority Executive Director Dan Farrell.

Farrell showed us documentation that maintenance crews responded to heat complaints at Alvarez's home four times this year.

Each time temperature readings ranged from 66 to 70 degrees.

He says during the last call on Friday maintenance workers gave Alvarez some space heaters.

Rodriguez says she got some too.

"Sometimes it's a little bit of a security blanket for the resident and a little assurance that they won't be calling back later in the evening so the maintenance staff doesn't have to go out at 3 in the morning or something like that," said Farrell.

Farrell says after our interview, maintenance crews went back to check on Alvarez's building and discovered her thermostat was broken.

He says temperature readings throughout the rest of the building ranged from the high 60s to low 70s.

Farrell says that while the furnace is working, it's not distributing heat evenly and is scheduled to be replaced when the weather warms up.