Heating complaints from apartment tenants skyrocket in New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Latoya Baldwin and her twin children have been shivering inside their apartment for days.  Now, she’s getting some much needed relief after a New Haven housing inspector Friday delivered a loaner space heater.

A quick check of the furnace in the basement revealed the source of the problem.

“Aggravated, mostly aggravated,” said Baldwin.

Related: Snow, extreme cold pose dangers for you, your home

To stay warm, Baldwin and the kids stay fully dressed in layers while inside their apartment on Henry Street.  She has also been doing what city inspectors say is unsafe.

“I open my stove and use my stove a little bit for a little bit of heat,” Baldwin told News 8’s Mario Boone.

Doing so “could create carbon monoxide,” Rafael Ramos, deputy director of New Haven Housing Code Enforcement, told us.

Baldwin is one of nearly 200 no-heat complaints pouring into code enforcement during the last nine days. In fact, three more complaints flooded in during our interview at city hall.

We have “zero tolerance for no heat,” Ramos explained.  “We’ll provide a heater, or two heaters or three heaters; whatever can help maintain the temperature where it’s safe, and that should be 65 degrees at minimum.”

Related: Preventing the pipes in your home from freezing

If space heaters don’t work, the city will temporarily relocate renters like Baldwin to a hotel and force landlords to foot the bill.

“I feel great that they were able to come in a timely manner and to serve me and my children,” Baldin said.

To report no heat Ramos said you should first call your landlord. If that doesn’t work call code enforcement at 203-946-7090.

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