Apartment residents go days without hot water

Cold weather adds to frustrations

HOUSTON - Dozens of families at a southwest Houston apartment complex may ring in the new year without hot water in their homes.

Since Dec. 20, several families at the Villas of Hillcroft apartments in the 6300 block of Skylind said they have had to heat their water on the stove.

Elizabeth Troncoso said she uses that heated water to bathe her 3-month-old and 3-year-old daughters.

"I'm bathing my kids out of a bucket and I'm having to boil hot water," said Troncoso. "To me, this is ridiculous."

Troncoso said the cold Houston temperatures only add to their frustrations.

This isn't the first time Local 2 has found problems at the apartments. In November, consumer expert Amy Davis dropped by the office when residents said managers were illegally shutting off their electricity to individual units.

"The only thing I can say to them is what they're doing is not right," said Yovel Torres, a renter.

In September, the power was out for three days. Residents said they were overwhelmed with mosquitoes because they had to keep their windows open.

The city of Houston told Local 2 the complex is waiting on a part needed to make the repair for the water. That same city representative first told Amy Davis that hot water isn't required by law, but Local 2 discovered it is.

According to the Texas Code of Ordinances, landlords must provide and maintain, in good operating condition, a device to supply hot water at a minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

The city said The Villas of Hillcroft has at least 19 violations. Inspectors have tried to give the owners time to make needed repairs. A city representative said the owners told them they will get the hot water back on Monday night.

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