A D.C. Superior Court judge has lifted a restraining order forcing the city to repair the air conditioning at its Claridge Towers public housing project for senior citizens, after work was done on the cooling unit last week.
Judge Sylvia Bacon lifted the order, imposed Aug. 12 by Superior Court Judge Steffen W. Graae, after lawyers for both the city and a group of Claridge Towers tenants agreed during a hearing Friday that the main cooling system is working.
Some tenants maintained, however, that while the main system may be working, many of the units in the apartment building still do not have air conditioning.
Jamal A. Rashad, representing the city, said it will be at least a week before the cooling system in the 343-unit building is fully operational. "The problem now is to locate individual maintenance problems within the apartments," Rashad said.
Robert A. Hazel, one of the attorneys for Claridge Tower residents, said residents conducted a survey the day after the system was supposed to have been repaired and found 119 apartments without air conditioning.
Though the temporary order is lifted, the tenants' complaint seeking to force the city to correct the chronic air-conditioning problems at the complex remains alive. A hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday at which attorneys for the tenants say they will ask for a preliminary injunction forcing the city to keep the cooling system in good repair.
Meanwhile, some angry Claridge Towers residents say they are still living in uncomfortable heat.
"The city keeps saying all systems are go, but I don't feel any results," said Roberto Wallace, who said his apartment thermometer read 87 degrees today. "I'm so tired of fighting for some air that I just ache all over. I am thoroughly disgusted."