Air conditioning arrived today for hundreds of residents of San Antonio's sixties and seventies era public housing complexes, which were built before a/c was routinely installed in new buildings, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Mayor Nirenberg and State Representive Diego Bernal gathered at a building in Olmos Park where residents have the front doors and windows of their apartments open to try to circulate as much cool air as they can find in the San Antonio summer heat.
Bernal recals the day he was told by a public housing resident that she didn't have air conditioning, and she asked her whether she meant the a/c was broken. She replied that she didn't have a/c at all.
"And at that point, I asked her, is that just you, or is that common in your building, and it was common in her building," Bernal recalled. "I had no idea. I had been in office for years, and I had no idea that this was the case."
The San Antonio Housing Authority is now moving to make sure there is working air conditioning in all of the buildings it operates, regardless of their age. Much of the cost is being borne by local philanthropist and 'Morgan's Wonderland' founder Gordon Hartman.
"Those of us who have been in office for a while mark the days when we do things that are meaningful," Bernal said. "This may be the most meaningful thing I have ever done, because it benefits people in a real, concrete way."