BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Cynthia Rosa has been renting From Red Jacket Revitalized Living on Niagara Street for four years and said this winter has not been easy.
"I have a five-month-old in the building that has no heat and its negative four degrees outside,” Rosa said. "No heat in a month. They come fix it, they claim that they fix it, it doesn't get fixed."
Rosa said she has been calling her property manager since the heat stopped working weeks ago.
"Just ‘oh, we're going to fix it when we can.’ That's been the worst part because there's children involved,” Rosa said.
Here is what the temporary fix looks like, registering at 62 degrees.
And that's not the only issue this mother is facing busted pipes, flickering lights, and windows without hinges.
"The lady in the office told me, ‘other than calling maintenance, I don't know what you want me to do,'" Rosa said.
To help renters like Rosa, Common Council President Darius Pridgen introduced a 'tenant bill of rights' in November.
"This is not a tenant versus landlord look,” Pridgen said. “This is a tenant versus bad landlord look."
He said people should not be battling these issues alone.
"At the end of the day, the least and the lost and the last have to be taken care of by somebody,” Pridgen said.
One month ago, Rosa was told she could move to emergency housing in March on Thursday morning she got a call that a different apartment is available but now she has to consider moving costs.
"This is all expenses that have to come out of pocket,” Rosa said. “And I don't even know how I’m going to do that."
"If you're poor, if you already don't have a lawyer of your own, you're already paying a lot in rent, now you can't afford to get the least expensive attorney,” Pridgen said.
And Rosa said she hopes her story helps other renters.
"Know your rights, research, communicate,” Rosa said. “It's a hard fight but it's a winnable one."