NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents living in New York City Housing Authority brownstones on the Upper West Side are going on their fifth week without gas. They say the agency hasn’t given them a timeline for when repairs will be done.
But CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez spoke with a veteran plumber who said the work should not be taking this long.
Larry Keyes is 80 years old and says he and his neighbors living in the 11 NYCHA-run brownstones are beyond frustrated they still can’t cook on their stoves.
“Still no gas. They better get on the ball and put some gas. Next week is the Turkenstein. You gotta get on them and make them do something,” Keyes said Monday.
NYCHA shut off the gas on Oct. 18 when tenants complained of smelling gas. After nearly a month, NYCHA sent an outside vendor to survey the potential repairs.
Tenant Mark Thomas took photos of them.
“I asked them do they entrance to any of the apartments. They said, ‘No, we’re just here to observe,'” Thomas said.
“You’d be here a couple of hours to get an idea of what your plan of attack is gonna be,” licensed plumber Michael Petri said, adding when asked if the work could be done from the outside, “No, I don’t see that as being possible.”
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Petri has been a licensed plumber for his family-owned company for nearly 50 years. He said jobs in older landmarked buildings like these can be complicated.
“They’re challenging to say the least, because of the way they’re constructed,” Petri said.
But he said repairs or even replacing the gas pipes shouldn’t take more than two or three weeks for one building. So, he was surprised to hear these tenants went without gas for an entire year, back in 2018.
“The holdup is always paperwork and the coordination of NYCHA,” tenant Cynthia Tibbs said.
“Everybody has to be on the same page to get this thing done in an expedited manner,” Petri added.
When asked if the problem is due to city bureaucracy, Petri said, “Just listening to her … that sounds like that’s the problem.”
Sanchez asked NYCHA for an update on repairs, and was still waiting for a response.
So, for now, tenants will continue to wait and remain far from optimistic they’ll be able to cook their own Thanksgiving meal this year.
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