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No AC in Housing Authority complex causes residents trouble in extreme heat

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The air-conditioning is slowly returning to an apartment complex run by the South Bend Housing Authority.

When we checked in on the tenants at the building on West Western Avenue, we found temperatures inside to be well above 90-degrees.

People inside the complex said they have little choice but to sit around and sweat.

One of those residents is Linda Rodgers. Rodgers says she has diabetes and is concerned about her health and the health of the many other seniors living in the building.

“We have people in wheelchairs, there’s people here with cancer going through chemotherapy, people with congestive heart-failure that have to have a regulated body temperature,” said Rodgers.

We met with a manager for the Housing Authority of South Bend today and they told us they had someone working on the problem as soon as they found out about it.

Wednesday a contractor put in seven hours of work, but was unable to make the repairs because of the holiday and a part that was unavailable.

As we were conducting interviews for our story, the Housing Authority went door to door in the building telling tenets about cooling stations that were set up for them to escape the heat.

According to the Tonya Robinson of the Housing Authority, most of the staff was off for Independence Day on Wednesday, leaving only maintenance workers and an on-call manager to cover all their properties.

The skeleton crew was unable to respond to resident phone calls due to the volume of them, according to Robinson.

Robinson also told us the air conditioning unit was installed within the last year or so, and was unaware of the exact date of the last time it broke down.

Residents told ABC57 the unit was down over the Memorial Day holiday, and that they have had issues with intermittent AC service every summer for years.

 Robinson explained how the Housing Authority has taken steps to go green with the building by replacing the windows and siding to be more energy efficient.

According to Robinson repairs to the air conditioning unit were completed around noon, but due to the sheer size of the building, it would take a while to get the apartments cool again.

As of 7:00 p.m. residents were still complaining about unbearable heat in their apartments.

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