Fraser Village tenants are close to tears over extreme temperature swings in their suites.
Norma Malic, a tenant at Fraser Village, has written a letter speaking out against the new heating and cooling system.
Malic said temperatures at Fraser Village have been inconsistent and prompted many residents to have erratic service in their suites.
“We received a grant, which was used to install a new heating and cooling system,” Malic said.
When the grant was received and the new system installed, Malic said residents were asked to dispose of their individual air conditioning systems, as they would not be allowed.
“Now [the residents] are almost in tears because of the heat in their units,” Malic said in her letter.
Although this has been an ongoing issue, Malic said she’s worried the winter months will be especially difficult, since there still hasn’t been any action to rectifying the situation.
The temperature has been so low on some days, tenants had to wear sweaters and members of the Fraser Village Society were unable to make arrangements for the repair of the system.
“I blame myself,” society member Peter Nielsen said.
“But the society has their hands tied.”
The companies who installed and maintain the system are based in Vancouver, leaving the Fraser Village Society at a loss to take quick action.
“Although the society got the grant to do this, the hiring of contractors and distribution of the monies was looked after by BC Housing, who gave the contracts to all out-of-town contractors, thereby leaving us with no local recourse,” Malic said in the letter.
The temperature in the Fraser Village has gone from 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
Although many tenants were asked to remove their personal air conditioning systems, many have now reinstalled them and Malic said there hasn’t been any trouble.
Malic explained the installers also cut part of the suites’ doors off the bottom to help air circulate, but that’s also been causing problems.
“When the system was installed, the installers said this would help circulate the air when the system was working,” Malic explained.
But since the system isn’t
functional, when the temperature dips, residents who have space heaters in their suites are losing the heat.
Malic said action wasn’t taken immediately because many tenants didn’t want to speak up and ask for help.
“Seniors will often just accept what’s going on and won’t necessarily complain if something’s wrong,” she said.
Malic and Nielsen are hoping the new system will be fully functional before the winter, as many seniors have been leaving their ovens on for heat, which isn’t safe.
“That’s just asking for an accident,” Nielsen said, adding the varying extreme temperatures could also lead to illnesses.
“The seniors are already at risk for getting sick, these temperatures are going to put someone in the hospital.”
The system is currently under repair.
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