Desperately-needed air conditioning coming for some of the city’s oldest housing units

Desperately-needed air conditioning coming for some of the city’s oldest housing units

A third of the residents in the affected units are elderly or disables, city officials said.Author: Vanessa CroixPublished: 11:51 PM CDT March 21, 2019Updated: 11:51 PM CDT March 21, 2019

SAN ANTONIO — Many people living in public housing units across the city will finally have relief from the summer heat.

You’re probably younger than the units in question; the Opportunity Home San Antonio said they were built in the 1930s, and don’t have air conditioning.

On Thursday, City Council voted to designate $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding to purchase and install air conditioning units at 20 Opportunity Home San Antonio complexes. The Opportunity Home San Antonio will match that grant, doubling the amount.

One of the spots that will receive a much-needed blast of cold air as the weather heats up is the Alazan Court Apartments, where Elizabeth Camarillo has lived for five years.

The Housing Authority said there are over 500 units at that complex without air conditioning.

Camarillo said she remembers first moving in, when the summer months were unbearable.

“When I first moved in I was like, ‘How do we have central heating, but we don’t have A/C?’ It doesn’t make sense,” she said.

The single mom said she had to buy her own air conditioning window unit to keep her daughter cool.

“It’s like my fan—doesn’t even cut it at all. The fan’s blowing on me, but it’s just nothing but hot air,” Camarillo said. 

However, she said the electric bills can be high nonetheless, up to $200 in one month during the summer.

The Opportunity Home San Antonio’s David Nisivoccia said one-third of the people living in the public housing units that need air conditioning are elderly or disabled.

Camarillo said she also worries about her elderly neighbors.

“They’re barely making it themselves and because they’re already older, I mean imagine the heat for them,” she said.

The Opportunity Home San Antonio said they would be purchasing and installing the air conditioning units in the next few weeks.

“To me that’s a necessity,” Camarillo said. “Because it really does get hot.”