Seniors at Decatur public housing complex without hot water since Tuesday


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – This week’s weather created some chilly, uncomfortable nights across our region, but for around fifty seniors living in a Decatur public housing complex, it’s been downright unbearable.

100 Wilson Street has been without hot water since Tuesday.

“We’ve done little sponge baths, but that’s all you could do,” said resident JoLynne Hannay.

“You can’t shower, you can’t do your dishes, you know you even wash your hands with warm water and we’re supposed to be washing our hands with warm water frequently.” said resident, Jo Garrett.

The Decatur Housing Authority (DHA) told News 19 that the mess is being caused by a recirculating pump that was damaged on Tuesday. The DHA said a replacement was ordered immediately, but that they received the wrong part on Friday.

But residents said the only communication they received from the building was a flier posted on Friday. When they called, throughout the week, they were given a range of other explanations.

“One day they tell us we have to get a part in Huntsville, then they had to get a part in Birmingham,” said Hannay

For some seniors, like Hannay, who have resorted to heating water on the stove to wash, even sponge baths are an impossibility.

“I mean they can’t expect elders to walk carrying a heavy thing to the bathroom to wash up with, that’s ridiculous,” Hannay.

In a statement to News 19 on Saturday, the DHA said: “Due to the holiday weekend, the new part will not arrive until Monday. DHA is sorry for the inconvenience this has caused to the residents at 100 Wilson Street. We hope to have the hot water restored on Monday.” The DHA also said residents have been receiving warm water, something those News 19 spoke to disputed.

“I’m going to stay at a hotel for two nights, and then I’m going to take it off my rent,” said Hannay.

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