By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Residents in a senior housing building in the Bronx have been using their stoves to keep warm.

Their building was without heat for more than a week.

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As CBS2’s Thalia Perez reports, it was a frigid Christmas Eve without heat to keep warm, said 77-year-old Odell Griggs, who bundles up in his coat while he’s at home in his apartment.

“I keep myself warm by the stove. If it wasn’t for the stove I don’t know what I would do,” Griggs said.

He says he’s not alone. The heat was out for more than a week for everyone in the 70-unit senior housing building located within the Bronx River Houses complex.

A man named Billy says his elderly mother is on the sixth floor.

“What is it like when you go in and visit her?” Perez asked.

“I gotta stay like this. I take my jacket off and stay in my hoodie because it’s really cold in there,” he said.

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Billy said his mom has two portable heaters but it’s still not enough.

”We can’t use them all night because we’re scared it’s gonna start a fire, so we got three blankets on her,” Billy said.

“They don’t deserve this. They deserve better,” said community activist Daniel Barber.

Neighbors told Perez the heat came on briefly Thursday night, only to shut off again completely Christmas Eve morning, leaving everyone back in the cold.

In a statement, a NYCHA spokesperson said:

There are currently no heat or hot water service interruptions at Bronx River Houses. After repairs were completed yesterday and service restored, plumbers found another leak today and repaired it without any interruptions to service. Residents experiencing any issues, including heat or hot water loss in their apartment should create a work ticket by using theMyNychaApp or by calling the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771.

Perez spoke to numerous residents who said that’s not the case.

Late Friday afternoon, there was word the heat had returned. We’re waiting to hear from NYCHA if that’s a temporary or permanent fix.

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Thalia Perez contributed to this report. 

CBSNewYork Team