The Northern Westchester Examiner

Community Pitches in to Help Suffering Peekskill Tenants

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Residents of a Peekskill housing complex suffering from weeks of inconsistent heat and hot water continue to plead for help, and many community members have answered the call.

Two frustrated residents of Dunbar Heights, Sandy Allen and Sheena Lee, launched a new Facebook page called “Voices of Dunbar Heights” and both women appeared before the Peekskill Common Council last week to thank some individuals who have donated food, supplies and other necessities to residents of the 96 dwellings.

“These people stepped up to the plate when the Peekskill Housing Authority did not,” Lee said.

Lee mentioned businessman Louie Lanza, who owns several restaurants in the city, provided heaters for every unit at Dunbar. She also mentioned the Peekskill Rotary Club and Chapman Manzer of Manzer’s Landscape Design & Development for lending a hand, and noted some residents of Cortlandt and Yorktown have reached out with donations.

Meanwhile, Allen gave a shout out to Peekskill Councilwoman Vanessa Agudelo, liaison to the Housing Authority, for delivering food to tenants at Dunbar.

Dunbar Heights residents have been dealing with frigid temperatures and the inability to cook and bathe since early December following a stretch of piping issues throughout the almost eight-acre development that resulted in Con Edison turning off the gas to each of the 96 units.

According to the Peekskill Housing Authority, the federal agency that manages the property, tenants have experienced heating and water issues because the boiler system is no longer getting natural gas from the city. Instead it’s coming from propane tanks.

Last Thursday, Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey posted on Facebook that the Housing Authority had approved a bid to install propane tanks at each of the 13 buildings at Dunbar. Once approved by Housing and Urban Development, that construction is expected to take six weeks to complete.

“The Housing Authority will notify all residents and be sure to get the word out the way residents suggested,” Rainey stated. “This way everyone will be informed of the process and time of work. Myself and the council will work even harder to improve the communications between the Housing Authority board/staff and the tenants.”

“We’ve been frustrated, some even ignored, and I’ve witnessed myself, some disrespected,” Rainey added. “I do believe we will see the changes we want and hope for very soon. Sooner than later.”

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