Heating problems during frigid blast at Philadelphia apartments

TIOGA-NICETOWN - January 22, 2014

The heat has been going on and off at the Venango House in Tioga-Nicetown, leaving dozens of senior residents shivering as temperatures remain below freezing.

92-year-old Mamie Cohen says the heat has been inconsistent at best during this January cold snap. She keeps the oven on in her one bedroom apartment and is always bundled up.

Cohen is one of nearly a dozen senior citizens who took us on a tour of their apartments on Wednesday, telling us how inconsistent and weak their heating has been - especially when there are sub-zero outside.

Resident Carol Jones tells us, "I'm freezing. At night I got to go to bed with clothes on, including socks… Every time it gets cold outside we have no heat."

Another resident, Ernest Davis, says, "Lukewarm air comes out [of the vent] then it turns cold."

They live in Venango House, located at 22nd and Venango streets.100 units set aside at affordable rates for the elderly. No one was in the on-site manager's office today.

Residents say it does no good to complain.

Jerome Jones explained what management allegedly told him when he complained of the cold, saying, "Told me to go find somebody to sleep with."

The management, a Boston-based outfit, tells Action News they just installed a new heating and cooling system in the late summer.

But when we inspected a second floor vent, which was next to the janitor's closet, it was blowing cold air... very cold air.

Winn Companies, which manages the apartment building, says this is the first it is hearing of the problem and that it will send a heating specialist out to check on the problem.

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