Residents fear leaky apartment complex causes health hazard

March 28, 2012 4:08:24 PM PDT
The city is going after an apartment complex one council member says should be condemned. Complaints of mold, water leaks, property damage have led to tens of thousands of dollars in fines. The complex is off of Selinsky near MLK.

Six months ago a ceiling fell on a senior citizen at the Crestmont Village apartment complex. That accident was the result of a leak, and that got the attention of the city. But a city councilwoman says the repairs still aren't moving quickly enough.

More than a hundred families live at Crestmont Village apartments. The issue is what they're living with. In one unit there is mold on the bathroom ceiling, in another, mold is on the sheetrock around a leaking window.

And then there's Janet Price's apartment, which has leaks of its own. She has cancer and a fear her living environment might compromise her health even more.

She said, "They continue to tell me they're going to fix it and they haven't done it. Even my mailbox is leaking."

Then there's Gloria Marabele's apartment. In her son's bedroom there's plastic on the ceiling, put there by a maintenance crew, she says.

She said, "Then it started raining in here, so they put the tarp up."

One problem is, it's not a tarp -- it's an advertising banner for the complex and its job is to hold water.

Some of that water fell on Councilwoman Wanda Adams. She has had health inspectors out here. The out of state owner, Adams says, has been hit with thousands of dollars in fines, but problems persist.

Adams said, "They need to be condemned until they can be brought up to a standard of living. And right now this is not a quality of living for anybody, no matter what income they bring in."

A handful of residents on public housing assistance are moving because their units aren't up to code. Gloria Marabele is among them. But she worries about her neighbors.

She said, "Even though I can't afford it, I shouldn't be forced to live any kind of way. I shouldn't, I shouldn't, I shouldn't."

The complex manager says she's just been given authority by the owner to solicit bids for repairs. She is trying to stave off the city repair deadline. We were unable to contact the complex owner in New Jersey for comment.

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