MORRIS HEIGHTS — Cora Robinson, a 62-year-old diabetic, has been living without cooking gas in her Bronx apartment for eight months — an inconvenience that's playing havoc with her health and finances.
“I’m a diabetic, and I can’t eat everything and anything,” she said.
“Being that I’m eating out at restaurants, I have to go there and let them know I can’t eat this, don’t put this in the food, don’t put that in the food, and it becomes expensive.”
Her building at 1777 Grand Concourse, run by Asden Properties, has been without gas since June after the city discovered a leak on the property, she said.
Tenants got hot plates, but Robinson said they were not very effective for cooking.
“This thing is not energy efficient,” she said.
“If you don’t watch the food, it will burn. And it’s about to burn out, period.”
Residents of the building have seen very little effort from management to remedy the situation, according to the tenants' advocacy group Community Action for Safe Apartments.
“We’re trying to do our best to communicate with the management company, but they ignore us,” said 51-year-old tenant Pedro Reyes.
“Like I said, they have no intent to resolve the problem.”
Reyes has lived in the building for 22 years and said Asden Properties was trying to push some of the longer term tenants out on purpose so they can raise the rents for newer tenants.
Tenants have been fighting their landlord in court and a judge ruled on Dec. 19 that the gas had to be turned back on by Feb. 6 but the landlord did not meet this deadline, according to CASA.
The owner of 1777 Grand Concourse has hired a plumber to make repairs that will restore gas service, and it is being restored to the building in stages, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
A ConEd spokesman said as of Friday, 70 of the 167 apartments in the building had been re-connected.
Asden Properties did not respond to a request for comment, but the company did put out a notice on Wednesday saying that gas would be restored to another 24 apartments on Feb. 13.
Robinson said she had already seen some families move out of the building, and she believes it is due to the lack of gas.
"It’s only me and my husband, but when you have a family, it’s harder," she said.
"You can’t drag children to the restaurant every day."