DECATUR, Ga. — Senior residents of a Decatur apartment complex have sent in more complaints just weeks after an 11Alive report that pushed to clean up trash pilled at the location.
Problems this time stem from inside the apartments at the Magnolia Circle complex.
One resident said she's dealt with crumbling floors, possible mold under her sink, and garbage disposal that does not work for months. Anna Sanders' said she put in requests to get this fixed two weeks before Christmas, but nobody has been by to help.
Meanwhile, back in August, she reported that a plumber came to fix a leak and explained to her that mold had been building under her since. The property manager disagreed.
"He looked at it, and he said, 'That's not mold,' Sanders' said. "He said, 'No, there ain't nothing we can do with that.'"
As for her crumbling floor, she said the property manager blamed her, claiming that the floor started ripping open because of a kitchen chair she uses to cook her meals.
"He just said that the chair probably did it," she recalled. "He said, 'You're going to have to fix it yourself and it's going to cost $300-$400.' I think we need somebody who has good customer service and cares about people, especially senior citizens. We worked hard all our lives and we just want peace where we live at."
A few blocks down lives a man who is legally brought and has cancer. He said mold had been building up in several rooms in his home after pipes burst in December.
"They told me I need to leave out of the house for a couple of days or maybe a week," Jerome Smith said. "I did what they asked me to do. I was out for three weeks... half a month, and they wouldn't pay none of my rent while I was staying there."
The closets in Smith's apartment have since been bleached, but he is unhappy about the timeliness of the response. His neighbor, Cheryl Taylor, helped him these past few months and claimed the manager was not kind when they asked for aid.
"It was several days before he even got a response from the office," she said, adding, "We’ve never had it like this before. We’ve always gotten some response, even if it’s, 'I’m working on it. I’m trying to get maintenance to it.' Everything now is on back order or none existent,, or calls have not been answered at all."
That's the big problem seniors said they've had with the office for about one year. They say the property manager isn't responsive or kind.
"I would not want to move – but if anything were to drive me away it would be his attitude as well as not good service. It’s a nice complex and I would hate to see it go down," Sanders said.
Russell Williams began gathering written complaints from residents. As of Monday, he had 33 complaints in hand.
"This is the first time we’ve actually gone this far to get these complaint forms," he said. "But we’re preparing a package that we’re going to be sending to DeKalb officials, citing our situation. We also have a petition form that we’ve gotten together for all residents if they will, to sign and a letter addressing what we’re dealing with over here."
11Alive gave the complex owners, Initiative for Affordable Housing, Inc., multiple opportunities to respond. Initially, they agreed to an on-camera interview, then declined.
They thanked us for resolving the trash compactor situation but said the property manager is very responsive and tries to fix situations as quickly as possible.
But the seniors feel that they are not being heard.
"Not only is it horrifying, it's frightening because we're on fixed incomes here," said Taylor.
"It takes forever or never," added Williams. "We never got our filters changed for this winter. We never got that done. We're not getting the service that we deserve as senior citizens and as rent-paying residents. We're just not getting it."