CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte City Council members were briefed Monday night on the problems at the apartments off Tuckaseegee Road. The plan after Monday night's meeting is a meeting Tuesday to review a plan to fix a long list of issues at the complex.
Hundreds of tenants at Lake Arbor Apartments in west Charlotte said there are many unsafe and disgusting conditions at the complex. These problems include rats in their units, inoperable smoke detectors, damaged plumbing, and rotting window seals.
Last Tuesday night, residents asked Mecklenburg County leaders for help because, they said, the owner is not addressing the issues.
“This is what's coming out of the Lake Arbor area,” community leader Blanche Penn told commissioners at the meeting on Tuesday.
Penn was holding a bag of fake rats.
“This is one of the worst places for humans to live at (that) I have ever seen in my life,” resident Jeffrey White said.
The group gave county commissioners photos of rats and roaches they said were found at the complex.
They also said mold and water damage are common sights.
“My shoes, bed frames, couch and kitchen are all covered in mold,” resident Aianna Fleming said.
The complex off Tuckaseegee Road is run by Broad Management. The management company did not return Channel 9’s request for comment. Rent for the complex typically runs from $700 to $1000 per month, according to online listings.
“The time for justice, the time for freedom, the time for equality is now,” Penn said.
To date, the city said 296 units have been inspected. Sixty-one units have been brought into code, 9 households have been referred to the voluntary emergency housing program, and 11 cases are due in Environmental Court on Nov. 6.
The county is limited in what it can do because of the Legislature. Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour said it is worth exploring if more oversight of apartment units should be added to the county’s legislative agenda.
Diorio said the city has been meeting with the property owner and his attorneys to develop a corrective action plan.
Residents have been left out of the discussion about the deplorable conditions. The meeting happening Tuesday will be closed to the public, despite residents demanding to be part of the conversation.
Commissioners want residents to be included.
“I am very sorry you are living like this. You deserve better,” Democratic Commissioner At Large Pat Cotham said.
The mail center at Lake Arbor is damaged so residents have to go to a post office to retrieve their mail.
Council members said they want strict penalties if more conditions don't improve.
"The expectation is for it to be done correctly. If not, we should be prepared to have penalties identified to go along with that," LaWana Mayfield said.
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