Mom rallies neighbors against apartment complex

September 11, 2010 2:23:19 AM PDT
A Houston woman says her apartment is in such horrible shape that it's making her children sick. She lives in the Northwoods Apartments near FM 1960 and the North Freeway. She says management isn't doing anything to fix the problem, so she took matters into her own hands.

At five o'clock, it's time for Jesse's treatment. He and his younger brother, says their mother, Andrea Senteno, have respiratory issues that need constant attention.

"It's brought me to tears because of the conditions, that they don't care," Senteno said. "They don't care."

Senteno blames management at the Northwoods Apartments for not taking care of problems Senteno says she has repeatedly reported.

"Every time it rains or we take a bath, it's like, this all gets wet down here," she said.

"Water has started leaking through there, and I've had to pull my bed," she added.

The leaks, says Senteno, have led to a mold problem in her apartment and affected her children's health.

The Northwoods Apartment Complex office was closed when we were there Friday, even though we went during hours they were supposed to be open. Our calls also went unanswered.

Senteno admits she stopped paying rent when problems were not fixed and was evicted. However, she took the complex management to court and won the right to stay in her apartment.

"I feel that our voices should be heard on this," she said. "There's constantly people coming in, moving here. You can't move someone, especially with children, inside this type of environment."

While Senteno plans to move out this month, she's organizing other tenants by asking them to sign a petition demanding better maintenance.

Tonya Lambert signed, saying her two sons also have respiratory problems she blames on leaking windows and doors.

Lambert, who showed Eyewitness News her children's bedroom, says she reported the mold problems in June.

"It's to where, really, they're getting sick," she said.

Senteno is encouraging other residents to stand up and ask for change. Senteno says she just wants to help others so they won't have to live with the same problems she did.


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