70-year-old finally has heat after living two weeks without

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 18:23:43-05

70-year old Bobbie Spencer is happy to finally have heat and hot water at home. 

Less than a day after 7 Eyewitness News exposed a heating and hot water problem at a public housing complex,

Spencer was living in a Frederick Douglass Townhouse on Jefferson Avenue without heat and water for more than two weeks. On Friday, contractors were on site repairing the hot water and today they repaired the heat. 

The home is owned by Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority and managed by Shinda Management out of Queens, New York. 

 Spencer told 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Justin Moore she had been getting the runaround from BMHA about the broken heating system, which forced her to boil water to bathe and use her oven to stay warm. Spencer has several physical disabilities. 

Spencer said she was told the units would be fixed by the summer and she would have to stay in her home until May, when repairs would begin. 

“We got some cold days ahead. How long can we go?” Spencer told 7 Eyewitness News Thursday night. 

Spencer said the management office gave her three space heaters and offered her a hotel room, but she’s afraid to leave because her home has been burglarized twice in the past while she was sitting in the living room.

According to BMHA officials, they are not responsible for the broken heating system. The authority tells 7 Eyewitness News that it contracted a third party company named Shinda to manage and operate the 87 housing units. The agency says Shinda is supposed to move tenants out of these units until the heating systems can be replaced. 

BMHA representatives said these housing units have old heating systems that are connected to the water.

Another complication: the systems are so old, parts are not made for them anymore. Shinda was expected to replace all the heating systems in the units this summer, which will cost about $10,000 each.