Bronzeville Man Says He's Been Without Heat For 13 Days

Another night below freezing was on tap Wednesday night – and imagine struggling through it without heat.

Video Transcript

- We're in for another night below freezing, and imagine struggling through it without heat.

- That has been the reality for a Chicago man for 13 days. He's so frustrated he reached out to CBS News Marissa Parra. She joins us live with a story you'll see only on 2. Marissa.

MARISSA PARRA: The man who lives in this Bronzeville apartment says a city inspector measured the temperature in his apartment at 37 degrees, and city records show this is not the first time we're seeing this with this building.

Instead of bundling up to go outside, Joseph White is wearing all these layers to stay inside.

JOSEPH WHITE: This is day 13 without heat. His daily nightmare is struggling to stay warm. He uses his oven not for food but for heat, whatever it takes to survive some of Chicago's coldest days. White says his landlord knows but nothing has changed.

MARISSA PARRA: We did some digging. City records show the same landlord has owned the property since 1995, and since then the building has failed inspections four different years since 2008. And in 2014, the city noted that the heating was out of service, clocking the temperature in the bedroom at 40 degrees. For some perspective, that's the same temperature as a refrigerator. And if you think that's chilly, this time it's worse.

JOSEPH WHITE: My room temperature, the last time the inspectors took it, it was 28 degrees. I had to move my bed into the living room to use my heaters to maintain heat.

MARISSA PARRA: White says even though he's unemployed, he still makes rent. And even if he hadn't, there is no excuse.

JOSEPH WHITE: This is illegal. It's crazy. No one should have to live this way. Regardless if you are current with your rent or not, it's inhumane, and I'm not having it.

MARISSA PARRA: Now, we just got this from the city's department of buildings. They had an inspector come and check it out as they saw the heat is still not working properly. However, they did say that the building owner was cited and will be taken to court. We'll let you know when the heat is back on.

Reporting live from the [? Lou, ?] Marissa Parra, CBS 2 News.

- All right, Marissa, you'll stay on top of it.