Tuesday, January 9, 2018




Two months after fire, many tenants in Poughkeepsie complex still have no heat

POUGHKEEPSIE – It was on October 30 that a basement electrical fire at the Rip Van Winkle apartments in the City of Poughkeepsie knocked out power to the building and resulted in the residents of the 178 units being evacuated.

The power was restored and residents were allowed to move back in two months ago.

Gladys Owens is one of what are said to be dozens of residents who still do not have any heat. She has been using portable electric heaters to warm up part of her apartment to some degree and told Mid-Hudson News on Monday that she is frustrated by the entire situation.

“My electric bill is very high; I can’t afford to pay it now, but they want their rent, I still have to pay rent,” Owens said. “Heat is supposed to be included in my rent; I have no heat.”

For now, Owens
has only a
space heater to keep her
apartment warm.
"Heat is supposed to be
included in the rent" she said

The complex is in Alderman Christopher Petsas’ ward and he has been working closely with the residents.  He is incensed that residents are still without heat.

“Either the management and the owners simply don’t care or they are incompetent or that perhaps there is a desire to get rid of those people out of the building,” Petsas said, referring to low income residents. “It is a prime location, prime real estate, a lot of big-money development is occurring around it and so perhaps somebody is looking at the Rip in a different picture than what it should be looked at, and that is to continue to have it for those who need it and for those who cannot afford high end units.”

Officials of PK Management in Cleveland, Ohio, owners of the building, did not return calls for comment.

Owens said she has met with a representative of the Hudson Valley Legal Aid Society and the Dutchess County Department of Health has been to her apartment and others on Monday.


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