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With bitter temps, residents at Downtown St. Louis apartment complex say they shouldn't have to fight for heat

The apartment management says they are working on getting replacement parts to fix the problem.

ST. LOUIS — These bitterly cold temps are especially worrisome for tenants in one apartment complex in our area. It’s an issue we first reported on earlier this month.

“This is like bone-chilling, death cold," says Tawana Colbert, a resident at the Arcade Apartments in Downtown St. Louis. 

For too long, Colbert says she and her dog Sunny have come home to an icebox. 

“The problem I'm dealing with now is no heat," she says. 

She says it's a problem that started about five months ago when air conditioning stopped working in her building, a complex that subsidizes rent for artists. Colbert is a hairstylist. She says her neighbors don’t want to speak up, fearful they’ll be kicked out. But she’s fed up with running space heaters 24/7.

She’s spent more than $300 to stay warm.

The added space heaters have increased her monthly energy bill. 

“It probably went about $20, $30," she says. 

And she says they've increased her anxiety. 

“I don't want to know cause a fire or anything," she says,

The apartment management team tells us 17 apartments are dealing with a lack of heat. They released the following statement in response to tenants' complaints:

“Arcade Apartments management is fully aware of heating issues impacting some of the units in our community. We have been working diligently to resolve this issue caused by broken heat pumps. Heating in these apartment units is reliant on an individual heating pump that links to the entire building loop system. The reason heat is not working in these units is due to the circulation pump that works with the loop system in the building has failed. While we attempted to order these pumps months ago, the manufacturer has put a temporary pause on orders for the pumps based on an inability to meet current demand they have on order. We have exhausted every avenue to purchase these pumps. In order for the heat to work in these units, we must have one of these circulation pumps which makes it impossible, at this time, to fully repair the problem or provide an estimated date for repair. We will make the necessary repairs just as soon as we are able to obtain the needed pumps. In the meantime, all affected residents have been supplied with radiant space heating units and are registering temperatures of more than 70 degrees in individual homes. We care deeply about our residents and appreciate their continued patience while we work to navigate the challenges of maintaining a historic building and keeping open lines of communication with all residents."

Colbert says her patience is replaced with another emotion. 

“Frustrated. Yes, because I would love to have heat. I come home and it's cold... cold when I wake up," she says.

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