For about two weeks now, many New York City Housing Authority residents have been without electricity and heat, but they will still have to pay full rent until January, bfore they can receive a credit, according to the New York Daily News.
NYCHA Chairman John Rhea stopped by the Red Hook Houses on Monday, where tenants have been left in the cold and dark since Oct. 29, and told one tenant to “hang in there.”
"You're going to get a rent credit. It's a nice little Christmas present," Rhea said to a woman waiting for Red Cross blankets, according to the Daily News.
And while Rhea likens the credit to a gift, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio railed against the NYCHA head for continuing to charge residents full rent for living in deplorable conditions.
"NYCHA should cease rent collection in affected developments until basic services are restored, such as electricity, heat and hot water,” de Blasio wrote to Rhea, according to the paper. “No tenant in public housing should be forced to pay the city for rent they do not actually owe."
When asked by Red Hook Houses residents when their utilities would return, Rhea was vague, saying that power should be back in the next two days and hot water would return “long before Thanksgiving.”
As of Monday, 4,400 NYCHA tenants in Red Hook, Coney Island and Far Rockaway were still without power, while 18,000 residents in 14 public housing developments in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan still had no hot water or heat.