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Some residents go without heat at Gilmor Homes

Posted: 6:19 PM, Jan 19, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-20 06:16:03-05
Leaders with Communities United said Tuesday they have been able to track at least a dozen people at Gilmor Homes who do not have heat.
 
As it starts to get colder and with winter weather on the way, they're feeling it more now, but said it is not a new problem. 
 
Barbara Faust caught our attention standing in her doorway. She said it was the possibility of getting the heat fixed in her unit at Gilmor homes. 
 
"I'm waiting to see if somebody come today. If not, I'll be over in that rental office tomorrow morning," Faust said. 
 
She said she has been dealing with the problem for years and has learned how to best heat her first and second floor using her oven.
 
"I got it on 350 (degrees), because it goes all the way up to 5 but I only need it on 350 and then when it gets a little bit warmer, I go back and cut it off because I don't want it to explode," Faust told ABC2. 
 
It is the same strategy with the oven for Tyesha Harrell right across Mountmor Court. The only difference is she says she just had a new heating system installed about two months ago. 
 

She said she and her five kids have been huddling together in the living room at night, closest to the one working of two space heaters she said the Baltimore City Housing Authority gave her.
 
We saw for ourselves some of the heaters were on - but were cold to the touch. 
 
"It's stressful. Trying to take care of five sick kids is really stressful. Then you can't fix the problem for them. They tell you they're cold and all you can tell them is get a blanket and huddle up and everything. It's very stressful. It's like you're letting them down because you can't fix the problem," Harrell job. 
  
"It's atrocious. It's sad. It's pathetic. These kids were crying last night because they were cold. "But mommy it's cold". It angers me. It angers me when you've been here and you see it and you still do nothing," Perry Hopkins, Field and Community Organizer with Communities United, said. 
 
 
This is the same housing development where most of the plaintiffs involved in the "sex for repairs" lawsuit lived. 
 
Nineteen women said when they asked for serious maintenance problems to be fixed, maintenance men would ask for sexual favors.  
 
Perry Hopkins with Communities United says a lot of those repairs have been made but it's not enough.
 
"I'm not going to discredit them fully but the basic needs of the community again are not being met and they're being left to suffer," he said. 
 
Hopkins said something has to be done about it and soon. Until it is, he said Communities United will be there. 
 
"We're going to stay here along with the power in this community to get these problems solved. That's what we're here for," Hopkins said. 
 
A representative with the Housing Authority said people in 13 units have reported the problems with the heating system. They said the space heaters are a temporary measure while maintenance crews work to "address the inefficiency issues". 

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