And that's exactly the scenario that's playing out at Bennett Homes in Chester, Delaware County.
This heating headache been going on for years.
Action News met the eleven-year-old son of Inez Green, who slept in a coat beneath a pile of blankets last night.
"Last night was really, really cold. Me and my baby slept together, bundled up together. And that's the hurt I'm feeling. It's really cold in here," said Green.
With blankets to cover her windows, Green has one electric heater, and uses her oven to heat her unit.
A project manager here, Lamar Branche, fully acknowledges the heating system has been a problem. In fact, he says some people haven't had consistent heat for years.
"The piping system is really bad up here," said Branche.
"I haven't had heat in my living room for five whole years," said Green.
In fact, the head of public housing in Chester tells Action News some residents haven't had consistent heat for up to ten years. Steve Fisher couldn't talk on camera, but he tells Action News this complex was built in the 50's with a heating system that was never installed correctly.
He said, quote, "We got a Florida job in Pennslyvania."
Workers, armed with one million dollars worth of recently arrived federal stimulus money, have been busy trying to upgrade the heating system. Residents like Shirley Potter arent blaming these new workers, instead they're heeding pleas to be patient.
"The younger ones they could go buy heaters until the heat does get fixed. That's the way I feel," Potter said.
But, patience is wearing thin for residents like Green. There are 259 units here, and so far only 140 have had their heating problems repaired.