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These Tenants Are Tired of Paying For Their Space Heaters

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The weather outside's been frightful, so we weren't shocked out of our socks to get a building heating query through the Ask Curbed hotline. A reader asks:

I live in one of the oldest buildings in NYC. The building was built without central heating (not been retro-fitted with gas or other heating). The renters of the building have used electric heaters. In my case nothing within my lease stipulates that any agreement on the electric heating of the apartment is included in the rent. (Heat and water are by law a right in NYC dwellings) Basically, the landlord has not provided heat (each dweller pays for heat outside their rent via electric bills)....

How does one approach a landlord that obviously knows this is an issue, and not just for one but all dwellers in the building? Should I contact the City (and how)? Should the dwellers collectively work together (obvious), but how? What kind of legal representation would be appropriate?

We haven't the foggiest, but some of you out there probably do. So, commenters, help a freezing fella out.
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