'My Baby Wakes Up With Hands Cold, Feet Cold, Nose Cold,' Clara Rivera Tells CBS2By Vanessa Murdock

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As temperatures drop, a mother reached out to CBS2, desperate for help getting heat turned on at her NYCHA apartment.

Mother of three Clara Rivera lives in the Justice Sonya Sotomayor Houses in the Soundview section of the Bronx.

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“Just imagine how my child, my baby wakes up with hands cold, feet cold, nose cold,” she said.

She says begging for heat falls on deaf ears with NYCHA.

“Please, just send someone over to see how cold it is, and as I’m speaking, I’m shivering,” Rivera said.

CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock met with her on Nov. 3. Rivera shared pictures of her three children, 9-year-old Serenity, 4-year-old Sincere and her youngest, Joells, just 3 months old.

“We’re entitled to a safe, sanitary environment,” she said.

She also shared details of the living conditions.

In mid-September, she created a ticket with NYCHA to fix her radiator knobs.

“This one has a knob, but there’s still no heat,” she said.

In late October, she started making tickets for no heat. When nothing changed, she reached out to CBS2 News for help — and it’s not the first time.

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Two years ago, CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer visited Rivera in the same apartment when the walls and ceilings bled water. We helped her then and have been trying a second time to right the wrongs.

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On Nov. 3, we reached out to NYCHA and got some results; workers showed up the same day to fix radiator knobs and worked on firing up the heat.

On Nov. 4, Rivera texted “No heat again” and created another ticket. Workers responded, but that night, no heat once more. Rivera’s stove acts as a makeshift heater many nights.

“Turn it on ’til at least the front of the house is warm,” she said.

Her most recent ticket was created Saturday morning. Saturday night, temperatures will drop close to freezing.

CBS2 has reached out to NYCHA a total of four times about Rivera’s heat. The response: “Temperatures at this unit are adequate … We turn on the heat for all developments between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the heat season, which began on October 1, to maintain a temperature of at least 62 degrees.”

Rivera says no way. Her children sleep with hats to stay warm.

NYCHA also says it will stay in touch with Rivera to ensure she is getting adequate heat.

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Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Nov. 13, 2021.

Vanessa Murdock