A/C restored at Charlotte public housing complex for seniors

Charlotte public housing complex for seniors without air conditioning for days

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Officials with Charlotte Housing Authority are apologizing after the air conditioner inside an uptown tower broke, creating hot and uncomfortable conditions for hundreds of senior citizens.

Officials said the chiller circuit board in Edwin Towers stopped working Friday. On Tuesday, CHA officials said a new circuit board was installed and air conditioning was restored. Staff members checked on each resident to make sure thermostats were working.

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The CHA said Monday the part is not readily available and won't be delivered until Tuesday. They are expecting the air conditioning to return to the high rise by Wednesday at the latest.

"What happened here is kind of what happens in most homes, in the time of summer, something breaks down and unfortunately for us, it was the chillers in our air conditioner," said Cheron Porter, senior vice president of public relations for the Charlotte Housing Authority.

Porter said Monday the complex was providing fans, water and ice cream to residents until the air conditioning is fixed. Staff members are also continuously checking on residents to make sure they are OK.

"It's a hot summer. It's certainly uncomfortable and certainly for our seniors, we want to make sure everyone is healthy and safe," Porter said.

Some Edwin Towers residents said the conditions are beyond uncomfortable and that they are dangerous.

Deborah Brown told Channel 9 she felt incredibly weak Sunday and could barely talk to her granddaughter as they walked to her car.

"I flopped down in my chair, and I started throwing up, terrible," Brown said.

She said she went to an emergency room and was told she was on the verge of having a heat stroke.

"I have respiratory problems, and I had to end up at the emergency room," she said. "Think about the elderly people that are 70-plus."

People in the building have been sleeping with their windows open but it's not enough relief. On Tuesday morning Channel 9 watched as paramedics loaded a resident into an ambulance after that person reported they were feeling dizzy because of the lack of air conditioning.

In addition to fans, a flyer posted in Edwin Towers says management will provide transportation to the Carole Hoefener Center for residents who want air conditioning.

Resident Alberta McLean, who has lived in the complex since 2005, said she is checking on bedridden neighbors. She is not happy with the response time from CHA.

"People are not supposed to live in these conditions. We are somebody, too," McLean said. "This is not acceptable."

This is the second major issue to happen at a Charlotte Housing Authority complex in the past 10 days. Charlottetown Terrace residents contacted Channel 9 after both elevators stopped working in the high rise for people with disabilities. A spokesperson said there are plans to upgrade both elevators.