Meng, Liu, Kim and Koo Demand Gas Service Be Restored at the Bland Houses in Flushing, Queens

Jul 2, 2020
Press Release
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) called on the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), New York City Department of Buildings (NYCDOB) and Con Edison to immediately restore gas service to residents at the Bland Houses in Flushing, Queens.
 
Since March, 10 apartments at 133-40 Roosevelt Avenue have been without gas. A broken gas line had forced service to be cut off. But months later, the problem has still not been fixed, and NYCHA has no timeframe as to when it will be. Residents have been unable to cook or use their stoves during the height of the coronavirus outbreak in New York, and the outage now continues into the summer months.
 
Although NYCHA has distributed hot plates to impacted tenants, it is not a long-term or acceptable solution to living without working gas.
 
In a letter to the heads of NYCHA, NYCDOB and Con Edison, the lawmakers demanded swift action.
 
“It is of utmost importance that NYCHA, NYCDOB, and Con Edison address the outstanding issues in restoring gas service to line A apartments so that these rent-paying residents are not subjected to any further delays in receiving working gas,” Meng, Liu, Kim and Koo wrote. “NYCHA, NYCDOB, and Con Edison have been ineffective in promptly addressing the needs of the residents of Bland Houses serviced by gas line A. The residents of the Bland Houses are struggling, and remain in desperate need of receiving working gas during this COVID-19 public health emergency. As such, we urge your swift resolution of this issue.”
 
The full text of the letter is below and a copy of the correspondence can be viewed here.
 
_________________________
 
Mr. Gregory Russ 
Chair and CEO
New York City Housing Authority
250 Broadway, 9th Floor  
New York, New York 10007
 
Commissioner Melanie La Rocca
New York City Department of Buildings
280 Broadway, 7th Floor          
New York, New York 10007
 
Mr. John McAvoy
Chair and CEO
Con Edison 4 Irving Place
New York, New York 10003
 
Dear Chair and CEO Russ, Commissioner La Rocca, and Chair and CEO McAvoy,    
 
We write to urgently request that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), New York City Department of Buildings (NYCDOB) and Con Edison work together to expeditiously repair the gas line at 133-40 Roosevelt Avenue, one of the apartment buildings located at the Bland Houses in Flushing, Queens, and ensure that impacted residents no longer have to rely on hot plates or other inadequate solutions in place of a basic necessity.   
 
It is of utmost importance that NYCHA, NYCDOB, and Con Edison address the outstanding issues in restoring gas service to line A apartments so that these rent-paying residents are not subjected to any further delays in receiving working gas during this COVID-19 public health emergency.  
 
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March, NYCHA, NYCDOB, and Con Edison have left these tenants without gas supply. While hot plates were provided to affected residents, it is not a long-term or acceptable solution to living without working gas.   
 
For over three months, our constituents, many of whom are essential workers, have said that they have had to choose between standing over their NYCHA-issued hot plates for hours to prepare rice or meat and managing to get some rest before beginning their commutes to our city’s hospitals to help those most in need. NYCHA, NYCDOB, and Con Edison have been ineffective in promptly addressing the needs of the residents of Bland Houses serviced by gas line A. This has only exacerbated the urgency and frustration of the pandemic. We urge you to address the serious concerns regarding the persisting problem of a lack of gas to these tenants.
 
The residents of the Bland Houses are struggling and remain in desperate need of receiving working gas during this COVID-19 public health emergency. As such, we urge your swift resolution of this issue.   
 
Sincerely,