Meng, Liu, Kim and Koo Announce Restoration of Gas Service at the Bland Houses in Flushing, Queens
Jul 24, 2020
QUEENS, NY – Today, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens), State Senator John Liu (D-Queens), Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) and Councilman Peter Koo (D-Queens) announced the restoration of gas service at the Bland Houses in Flushing, Queens.
The restoration comes after the lawmakers sent a letter to the heads of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), New York City Department of Buildings (NYCDOB) and Con Edison calling for broken gas lines to be immediately repaired so that impacted residents could once again receive working gas in their apartments.
For months, tenants in 20 apartments – 10 units at 133-50 Roosevelt Avenue (which lost gas in February) and 10 units at 133-40 Roosevelt Avenue (which lost gas in March) – suffered without any gas supply. They were unable to cook or use their stoves during the height of the coronavirus outbreak in New York, and throughout most of the summer months.
In addition to the letter, Meng personally spoke with NYCHA Chair and CEO Gregory Russ. She explained the toll that the outage had taken on these residents, and emphasized the urgent need for restoring gas as soon as possible.
Late yesterday, service was returned to the 10 apartments at 133-40 Roosevelt Avenue, and gas is expected to be functioning shortly in the other 10 units at 133-50 Roosevelt Avenue.
“The restoration of gas service at the Bland Houses is great news for affected tenants, and I am pleased to have played a role in helping to resolve this issue,” said Congresswoman Meng. “These repairs are long overdue and should not have taken this long. But I thank NYCHA for following through and finally fixing the problem. I also thank Chair and CEO Russ for speaking with me about the outage, and being responsive to my concerns for constituents who reside in these buildings. I hope that there will be no further service interruptions, and that any future repairs do not take many months to fix.”
"Our neighbors and constituents at Bland deserve better than the inordinate delays and treatment they have suffered for far too long during this stay-at-home health crisis and it’s good to see that at long last progress is being made to restore this vital service,” said State Senator Liu. “Kudos and thanks to Congressmember Meng for lighting the fire under NYCHA so that these residents can finally light the fire on their stoves once again."
"This is good if belated news for the tenants living without gas these past five to six months, and I am glad that the concerns we expressed as elected officials helped make the difference,” said Assemblyman Kim. “Being forced to go without use of your stove during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is unacceptable, and I hope the gas is restored for the remaining affected residents shortly."
"If a private landlord left its tenants without gas for months during the pandemic, they would be held to account,” said Councilman Koo. “NYCHA needs to do more to make sure these gas outages stop happening. And when infrastructure does need repairs, it needs to be fixed with far greater urgency. Many thanks to Congresswoman Meng and my colleagues in government for drawing attention to this serious issue."
A copy of the correspondence sent by Meng, Liu, Kim and Koo can be viewed here.