Broken heater at senior housing high rise

Posted at 9:00 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 21:02:36-05

Many residents at an Ohio City senior housing high rise said a broken heater meant no relief from this weekend’s dangerously cold temperatures. 

The Riverview Tower at 1795 W. 25th St. is a Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority property with 498 units that are filled to capacity. 

Tenants like Donald Wilhite told that a problem with the heater became apparent late last week. 

“Now I use my oven to stay warm most of the time,” Wilhite said. 

Resident Arline Gardner said some residents are congregating on the lower floors where the temperatures are warmer. 

“It’s cold, it’s cold outside and inside. it’s cold,” Gardner said. 

Andy Gonzalez, chief of police for the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, spoke to on behalf of the building. 

Gonzalez said maintenance has been working on the issue all weekend. He pointed to a boiler issue as the source of the problem. 

“I don’t want to give the impression that we do not have heat,” Gonzalez said. “We do have heat. It’s just not as warm as our residents are accustomed to having.” 

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority did not give permission to test the temperatures. 

But Gonzalez acknowledged that some of the rooms might be below the 70-degree "minimum inside winter temperatures" outlined in Section 3131.04 of Cleveland’s Building Code. 

“If they are so uncomfortable that they need additional heat then we will provide a space heater for them,” Gonzalez said. 

The building called in an outside contractor who was on the premises Monday afternoon working on the broken boiler. Gonzalez said he hoped the heaters to be fully functioning by the end of the day. 

Gonzalez said anyone with heat issues should contact the CMHA police line directly at (216)391-2642. reached out to CMHA for a comment and inspection reports for the property but did not receive a response by Monday evening.