CHICAGO — From space heaters to leaving gas ovens on and booking hotels, residents at an apartment complex in Greater Grand Crossing say they are desperate for management to take action.
“It’s not all about me. It’s about the entire building. It’s about everyone,” said Carla Wells, a resident at the apartment complex. “It’s about anyone who’s dealing with a situation like this at this time of year. We shouldn’t have to.”
For days, the apartment building at the corner of South Indiana Avenue and East 70th Street has been without hot water or heat. Residents said they received no information from management until Christmas, when a text was sent out blaming the problem on someone leaving a door open to the building’s laundry room, which allowed pipes to freeze.
By the time the texts went out to residents, Wells said temperatures had already dropped to levels too cold to tolerate.
“On Christmas day, we had to pack up our Christmas tree and go to our daughter’s house because it was unbearably cold,” Wells said.
Two days later, Wells said they are back home in their apartment, but the water and heat are still out, and they are doing anything they can to stay warm.
“We’ve literally been sleeping under four blankets,” Wells said, who also wore extra pairs of socks and pants, a winter coat and a knit hat to keep warm at night.
“I had to use my stove, and this, around the clock,” said Gloria Bates, another resident at the apartment complex. “I have a huge bill coming my way.”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, residents should never use gas stoves to heat their homes due to hazardous levels of carbon monoxide that can be produced when the appliances are left on for too long or mismanaged.
Bates said she is worried about the safety risks of running the gas stove, but also the health risks if it gets too cold in her apartment. According to Bates, the carbon monoxide alarm has already gone off once in her home.
According to residents, property management promised to deliver space heaters Tuesday morning, but had not followed through on the promise as of Tuesday afternoon for all residents.
Wells said she had the number of a maintenance worker, who she reached out to directly. She said he brought her several space heaters, but other residents WGN spoke with had not yet received any.
“We have an emergency situation here because it’s cold. You might not be living in the cold, but we are, and we need heat,” Bates said. “I called the Alderman. I have called the office twice and I have not gotten a response from either one.”
WGN News has reached out to WPD Management, who oversees the property, and 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer for comment on the situation. Both parties have yet to return the request.