British stone. St. Petersburg, Fla. — Tenants at the St. Petersburg Presbyterian Building have been without heat and hot water for days.
According to the building’s management, it was because the main board of its boiler system failed.
Stephanie Rapko, the resident we revisited on Monday talk to her saturdayWas warming up with a small heater that she received from her apartment complex on Saturday.
She was told they likely wouldn’t be back up and running until Wednesday because of the holiday.
She sleeps on the couch thanks to a space heater that heats part of her living room.
“I slept on the couch,” she said. “I have two blankets here, a heating pad.”
To make matters worse, she caught a cold and had to boil water to wash her face.
“I’m still as frustrated as everyone else,” Rapko said.
In fact, we spoke with several residents on Saturday who were frustrated with the issue, and on Monday interviewed the daughter of a resident who asked not to be named because she feared her parents would be affected.
While a resolution is imminent, many believe it is taking too long as temperatures will be back in the 70s by the time the boiler system is likely to be repaired.
“That’s the way it is here,” Rapko said.
But the presbytery is in dispute with the claimed housing.
While management was not available for in-person interviews, they answered several of our questions via email.
These are the questions we asked and the responses from Presbyterian Homes and Housing:
Q: How long does it take to be reimbursed for space heater/hotel stays?
A: Once we receive the receipt from the resident, we will mail the refund within one business day.
Q: Once this broken part of the boiler system is replaced, do you have anything to say to residents who are concerned that this is only a temporary solution and that it will eventually break again?
A: Nobody plans for major mechanical failures like this one, but even with preventative maintenance, it happens. We have full confidence in the professionals who service the system and we will make any necessary repairs to restore it to normal operation.
Q: A number of residents who have contacted us have said they are frustrated that this will likely not be resolved until Wednesday, when temperatures are picking up. Any news for those and why it took until Tuesday to get a response from the character?
A: The boiler didn’t fail until Friday night. Saturday is Christmas Eve and Sunday is Christmas. Today is the anniversary of Christmas, so businesses remain closed. I wish things were different, but the bottom line is that supply houses are closed and won’t open until Tuesday the 27th. Once they open, orders are processed and portions are delivered to hotels overnight.
Q: Are there people on site administering, are there people doing health checks on some of the residents?
A: Crews were on site Saturday to deliver space heaters and check on frail residents. Property managers are posting notices in the community today and checking temperatures in buildings.
Q: How many space heaters are you all able to obtain/distribute to residents?
A: 50 small heaters were delivered and distributed to residents on Saturday.
Still, Rapko won’t be satisfied until things get back to normal. “Start maintaining the place,” Rapko said. “Why is there air coming in through the windows? Why don’t we have hot water and heating on the coldest night of the year? You shouldn’t be putting us at risk like this.”