Housing authority massages air conditioner policy

Housing authority massages air conditioner policy

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall and Area Housing Authority is backing off on a plan that would have shelved window-based air conditioners in many of its units.

Housing authority manager Peggy Fulton said Tuesday window-based air-conditioning units will now be permitted, so long as they are protected by a balcony, or if they fit within a sleeve in a wall.

In addition, the housing authority is seeking to offer so-called “preferred pricing” on new air-conditioning units that meet the new rules, in an effort to offset the high cost of purchasing additional equipment.

Many residents dwelling within housing authority units are on a fixed income, or pension.

“We want to ensure the safety of our tenants and the public at large,” said Fulton. “We have the benefit of time and we hope to come up with suitable solutions for all of our tenants before the beginning of the next summer season.”

Seaway News reported weeks ago that dozens of housing authority residents were miffed because the agency was changing the rules concerning window-based A/C units.

“I can’t thank you enough for taking me seriously, (and) printing a great article,” said Lisa Murad, a resident of a housing authority apartment on Sixth Street. “If you heard a scream, it was me, doing a happy dance.”

The housing authority had initially thought to prohibit window-based units, beyond the first floor of a building, because a machine had fallen from a multi-story building and crashed to the ground this summer.

Fulton said at the time such a scenario presented a liability issue for the authority.

But residents complained to Seaway News, suggesting the alternative – a portable A/C unit – was too expensive for people of limited means.

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