Charter House under fire from residents for lack of heat

A day after residents at an Alexandria high rise told 7 On Your Side management would not turn on the heat despite cold, others across the region contacted ABC7 about similar situations.

While the heat at Southern Towers in Alexandria is now on, residents of Charter House, a Silver Spring retirement community, say they would like to see similar results.

"She told me yesterday when I talked to her that it was about 60°," said Diana James of her 90-year-old mother's apartment at the Charter House.

James bought her mother a space heater to help her cope with the dropping temperatures.

"She says her hands were cold, and she was shivering," James continued.

Management at the Silver Spring high rise has yet to turn on the heat despite temperatures dropping below 50° some days.

Resident Rosa Reeder utilizes not one, but two appliances to keep warm.

"I have the oven on right there as you can see, and I also have an electric radiator turned on," Reeder explained.

Like Southern Towers in Alexandria, Charter House is an older building and doesn't have individually-controlled heating and air conditioning units. Management at both properties determine when to turn the heat on and off in the fall and spring, respectively.

In the case of Charter House, residents say managers have responded to prior complaints by handing them a seven-day forecast. But temperatures dipping into the low to mid-40s are expected for three of the next four days.

"Perhaps it's something that needs to be addressed, not just at this building but county-wide," added resident Beverly Blakey.

A property manager has not returned ABC7's message for a comment. A representative of the apartment complex's residents says he will contact county officials if the situation isn't quickly resolved.

Legally, the heat doesn't have to be on until Oct. 15.

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