With temperatures topping 90 degrees this week, many Mainers have sought relief from the heat with air conditioning.
Yet, in one federally subsidized apartment building in Auburn, no window AC units are allowed.
“I mean, I never heard of any place expecting you to live where it’s … 91 or 95 degrees in your apartment,” tenant Skip Estes said. “I never heard of such a thing in my life.”
The complex’s hallways and downstairs common areas have AC units and are much cooler than Priscilla Leavitt’s apartment.
“At nighttime … a lot of people are sleeping in the community room, staying down there because it’s so hot in the apartments,” Leavitt said.
Portable air conditioners are allowed at 62 Spring St., but tenants said they cost more and are less efficient.
“That’s $400 or $500 out of my check,” Leavitt said. “I only get $800 and something.”
Marty Szydlowski, executive director of the Auburn Housing Authority, said under the organization’s policy, it doesn’t allow window units to prevent damage to the outside of the building.
“The policy is what it is. It was formed before I was executive director here,” Szydlowski said. “I don’t have the specific rationale behind that.”
He said the policy is worth reviewing.
“I think it could be a possibility, but again, I would have to provide a case to my board,” Szydlowski said.
Tenants said they need help now to cool down their apartments.
“First thing in the morning, I put on my oxygen because I can’t breathe at all,” Leavitt said.