Low-income New Yorkers are eligible for free air conditioners through the federally funded Home Energy Assistance Program, but only if they’ve got a printer at home and can think ahead. The deadline to mail in an application this year was July 8, two weeks too soon for those who may have hoped to apply for the benefit during the city’s sweltering heat wave last month.
The asphalt shimmered and hydrants showered the streets with water from the subterranean depths. The fire department gives out hydrant caps to curb the impact on citywide water pressure. Improperly opened hydrants blast as much 1,000 gallons a minute into the street, they warn.
The temperature was above 90 degrees for six consecutive days ending Sunday, July 24.
The Marble Hill Senior Center is one of a handful of cooling centers the city activates during extreme heat. It’s open to seniors from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. But director Dan Schmidt said he can count on one hand the number of people who have come in for cooling in recent years.
“When you get to be the age our people are, you’ve lived through heat waves before,” Schmidt said.
A glance up at the windows of the 11 brick towers that make up Marble Hill Houses suggests residents are well-equipped with air conditioners.
The New York City Housing Authority coordinates with other city agencies during hot weather to activate cooling centers and increase public messaging about potential hazards. Until this year, NYCHA provided identical services through two separate departments—the Office of Emergency Management and Emergency Services Department. They’ve now merged into the new Emergency Operations Center.
Marble Hill Residents’ Association president Tony Edwards has received similar messages from NYCHA on many scorching summer days, and he finds the city’s response blasé.
“It’s just the normal statement: ‘it’s hot,’” Edwards said.
The longest heat wave in New York City history was in 1953, when temperatures hit 90 degrees for12 days in a row beginning Aug. 24 that year.
The last seven years have been the hottest since record-keeping began.
NYCHA chief operating officer Daniel Sherrod said in a statement last week the city housing authority is working on a new extreme heat annex, “to systematize our response processes, all in the service of our residents.” The NYCHA annex will be included in the city’s long-term emergency plans to protect vulnerable households against extreme weather.
Health officials estimate 370 people die prematurely every year in New York City because of hot weather. That’s about 2 percent of all deaths occurring in the city during the summer months.
The risk is low in Riverdale, Fieldston, and North Riverdale compared to other neighborhoods in the Bronx. It’s somewhat higher in Kingsbridge, Spuyten Duyvil, and Marble Hill. Ample green space and a continuous tree canopy are some of the factors that lower the surface temperature in these neighborhoods and stymie the development of urban heat islands.
The health department’s heat vulnerability index takes these measures into account when assessing neighborhood risk level, as well as sociological factors like air conditioning access, residents living below the federal poverty level, and Black residents. Black New Yorkers are most excluded from heat resources and twice as likely to die from heat stress as white New York residents.
July real estate transactions:
• 4731 Fieldston Road — Leanora R. Michel to Shira Sandel for $4.4 million
• 5987 Broadway — Barry Realty to 5987 Broadway Realty LLC for $2.275 million
• 2758 Kingsbridge Terrace — 2758 Kingsbridge LLC to 2758 KT LLC for $1.8 million
• 6206 Spencer Ave. — Declan J. Walsh to Daniel Spevack for $1.351 million
• 311 W. 262nd St. — James O’Connor to Erin Osborne for $1.31 million
• 5607 Post Road — Julie Dealmeida to Matthew Danzig for $1.125 million
• 3266 Cambridge Ave. — Michelle Boss to Chun Geng Chen for $975,000
• 2607 Sedgwick Ave. — Deonarine Persaud to Giao Kang for $925,000
• 3268 Cambridge Ave. — Michelle Boss to 3268C LLC for $900,000
• 2533 Belmont Ave. — 2533 Belmont Realty Corp. to Fordham Hall LLC for $900,000
• 6132 Fieldston Road – Mary B. O’Regan-Roman to Rebecca Peretz-Lange for $895,000
• 4455 Douglas Ave. — Alyson Holoubek Kessler, as co-executor, to Mary E. Sublette for $865,000
253 West 260 Street – Margaret A. Segreti to Kevin Schreiber for $853,599
2206 Cedar Ave. – Miguel Fich to Pedro A. Jiminian for $830,000
2639 Decatur Ave. – 2639 Decatur LLC to Zumilda Estevez Rodriguez for $732,000
1923 Hennessy Place – Clint Okayama to Julio Deleon for $725,000
2218 Aqueduct Ave. – Sayed A. Hossain to JRNK LLC for $725,000
2312 Andrews Ave. – Balduino Lemos to JV 1 Andrews BX LLC for $720,000
2216 Aqueduct Ave. – Mohammad Abdul Yasin to JRNK LLC for $700,000