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HPD installs new boiler for Harlem apartments after CBS New York report

HPD installs new boiler for Harlem apartments after CBS New York report
HPD installs new boiler for Harlem apartments after CBS New York report 02:14

NEW YORK - Earlier this week, a group of Harlem neighbors reached out to CBS New York for help as they neared a month without hot water or heat in their homes.

CBS New York's Jessi Mitchell returned to the apartments on West 118th Street on Friday to find work finally taking place.

The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development hired a crew after filing its own urgent heat and hot water work order Wednesday and issuing hazardous violations of heat and hot water against Shinda Management in the past week, those on top of the several citations dating back to early November, when the boiler first broke.

"It was just burnt, burnt out," said John Fay, the installation crew's supervisor with Approved Oil. "They don't last too long, those type of boilers. They're very efficient, but they're... [The new boiler] is an upgrade."

Cleveland Manley reached out to CBS New York after the retiree and his neighbors were forced to heat their homes using their ovens with pots of water placed inside. Shinda Management, contracted by the property's owner Canaan Baptist Church, would not tell CBS New York why they failed to fix the failed boiler.

In a statement Thursday, HPD spokesperson Natasha Kersey wrote:

"With the drop in temperatures during the colder months, buildings' heating systems are put to the test, and in some cases, require emergency repairs from HPD to ensure the safety and health of tenants. HPD is actively involved in this building, responding to complaints, issuing violations, and yesterday, issuing an emergency work order to repair the boiler. We're working as quickly as possible to address this urgent matter for tenants."

"That's all we asked," said Walter Martin, who lives in one of the affected buildings. "Thank you. We much appreciate it, much appreciate you."

"We feel very appreciative of people that had our backs, to come out and support us," added Manley, who serves as tenant association president.

After installation is complete, heat and hot water should flow smoothly by Tuesday.

"They should maintain it better than that," Manley said. "I hope they learn from it, keep maintaining. Don't wait 'til it go out."

As of this month, Shinda Management will no longer be running the property. The tenants have not yet learned who the new management team will be, but they are cautiously optimistic.

Have a story idea or tip in Harlem? Email Jessi by CLICKING HERE.

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