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Gas Outage Hits Williamsburg NYCHA Complex Third Time in 18 Months

By Meredith Hoffman | July 29, 2013 3:06pm | Updated on July 30, 2013 10:19am
 South Williamsburg's Independence Towers are facing the third gas outage in 18 months.
South Williamsburg's Independence Towers are facing the third gas outage in 18 months.
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Marcos Masri

SOUTH WILLIAMSBURG — Dozens of public housing residents are struggling to get by without gas, in the third sustained outage in just 18 months at South Williamsburg's Independence Towers development.

The outage, which started more than two weeks ago at 75 Wilson Street, has affected 21 apartments in the building — and tenants said the city had not informed them of when the problem would be fixed.

"They told us they have to replace the line and now they’ve told us that people have to take off their cabinets and that people have to be home the entire day to replace the entire gas line," said resident Marcos Masri of the New York City Housing Authority, "but people have to go to work."

And for the many large families in the units, the outage has caused serious obstacles to providing meals for their families.

"Families with a lot of children have to cook for them but can't...[NYCHA] gave us hot plates but you can't cook on those," Masri, 26, said. "There's a lot of frustration."

A spokesman for NYCHA did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but Masri noted that the outage is the third one in the past 18 months at Independence Towers.

Last February residents at the six-building development's 125 Taylor Street were out of gas for a month and this December the building of 85 Taylor Street was struck with an outage of 18 days, Masri said.

"In 25 years of my family's residency in this complex," said Masri, "I've never seen so many problems on one issue like this one, gas."