ST. LOUIS – Six months after residents at an affordable housing complex in the Central West End were left without air conditioning, many are now without heat.
“That’s going to be a little too cool, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it in the front room with the oven,” said Georgia Johnson, a resident at Washington Apartments.
In the summer, Johnson told FOX 2 that her apartment was overheating due to a broken AC unit.
She and other residents at Washington Apartments now have the opposite issue. Johnson said her heat goes out for days at a time.
“It’s just horrible that they will take your rent money and don’t try to do anything about it or try to help you find any place to live,” she said.
The 100-unit building, filled with Section 8 residents, is now left waiting for the property’s vendor to get the approved parts to fix the broken central heat.
“I do got to toughen up,” said Demetrius Foote. “It’s going to be very sad, but since there’s going to be no heat, it seems like I’ve got no choice.”
With a winter storm approaching later in the week, it is only going to get worse, making it harder for residents who are low-income or elderly who need to find another place to stay warm. However, many of them cannot afford to do so.
“The economy, inflation, everything you name it has come down on a lot of people,” said Gentry W. Trotter, founder of Heat Up St. Louis.
A spokesperson for the apartment complex said portable heaters are available to help while they work to fix the central heat.
Heat Up St. Louis, which helps keep the heat on by paying people’s energy bills, warns that space heaters could do more harm than good.
“Your landlord should take extra care and help these people, especially if you’re going to turn around and add a flame to the fire by giving them a space heater,” Trotter said. “You’re putting them at danger again.”