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Riverside Terrace High-Rise residents complain about lack of heat in hallways and common areas

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 5:23 PM EST
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) -16 News Now is digging deeper after several residents at the Riverside Terrace High-Rise in Elkhart say there isn’t any heat in the hallways, elevators, or lobbies.

The Elkhart Housing Authority executive director Ann Washington reached out to 16 News Now saying complaints about the heat started coming in on Feb. 15th, but many residents say this is an ongoing problem.

She said in a statement: Thank you for your interest in the heat concern at Riverside High-rise; our residents’ health and safety are always top priorities! Please be advised that we started receiving calls about cold air in the hallways on Monday, February 15. When our HVAC Specialist checked it out, he discovered that the air handler was not working. We had to call a heating and air vendor to service it and the earliest they could arrive was today. It is 60 degrees in the halls which are common areas outside of our residents’ apartments which were in no way affected. Neither was the heat in the laundry room ever affected.

We highly anticipate that the Riverside air handler will be repaired and up and running by the end of the day today. However, we are happy to inform you that this concern does not present a hazard to our residents’ livable spaces inside of their apartments. -Angelia Washington, Executive Director

One resident told me that the lack of heat outside his apartment door is impacting his utility bill.

“The cold in the building also makes people have to pay more for their electric bill. It’s not just $200 bills for some of these people, it’s up over $300 and we’ve got people here in their 90′s,” said Riverside Terrace High-Rise resident Timothy Runner.

Two other residents said they are frustrated with how the housing authority handled their concerns.

“They have been blowing in cold air all fall and all winter and when you ask them about it they say they’re doing that because the fresh air takes care of the virus,” said resident Sharon Lacount.

“I paid a huge electric bill this month. I mean, where does it stop. They don’t care. They don’t act like they care,” said resident Victoria Hayes.

Even with the heat anticipated to be fixed on Friday, 16 News Now will keep listening to residents to see if their problems continue.

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