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Family forced to use oven to heat their apartment

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ST. LOUIS – A woman sought help from the You Paid For It team regarding her family’s frigid apartment.

Rayuana Bradley said she and her children are freezing inside their taxpayer-funded apartment. They’re getting by at the moment using their oven and a space heater provided by the apartment manager. But Bradley said it’s not enough.

“Me and my babies, we cold,” she said.

Bradley and her two kids live at the Washington Apartments in the Central West End. She said a furnace doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.


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“We lay in the bed, we up under every blanket that I have, and it’s still cold. It’s horrible,” she said. “The floors are cold. We get all our blankets huddled in the middle of the bed and try to keep each other warm!”

The living room is warm when she blasts the oven and the space heater. It reaches 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

But Bradley said she’s not comfortable running the oven all night. When she turned the appliance off, the temperature in their apartment dropped quickly to 54 degrees.

She said she’s reached out to HUD but heard nothing back.

FOX 2 contacted both HUD and the apartment management. Both told us they expect the situation to be remedied on Wednesday.

We’ve provided statements from both HUD and apartment management company McCormick Baron:

HUD has been in touch with the property management at Washington Apartments and has been advised that affected tenants have received temporary heat sources and that a contractor has been contacted and will be onsite tomorrow morning to begin remedying the underlying problem. Our staff will continue to monitor the property manager’s actions to ensure that residents have a safe and warm environment. 

HUD statement

McCormack Baron is aware of the malfunctioning heat issue in a small number of units at the 100+ unit Washington Apartments. The problem is with a few new HVAC units installed in August as part of extensive system updates and investments at the property. A warranty-covered repair request was made in November when the problem was first identified. The provider has scheduled a service call for January 17th (tomorrow) to diagnose the issue and conduct necessary repairs.

The safety and comfort of our residents is always our primary concern and priority. When this issue was first brough to our attention building staff provided the impacted resident with multiple portable heaters, and the staff have been in regular contact with residents to confirm they have sufficient heat. With the recent extreme cold, staff also offered the impacted resident temporary relocation to a unit with fully functioning heat.

We encourage any residents to let building managers know if they are experiencing any problems, especially during this extreme cold weather.

McCormack Baron statement

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