Councilman tours apartments where residents live in poor conditions

CHARLOTTE — Channel 9 has been investigating dangerous and unsafe living conditions for some renters in northwest Charlotte and now a city councilman who represents them is getting a first-hand look.

Residents at Scarlet Pointe Apartments have told Channel 9′s Almiya White they have nowhere else to go.

White has uncovered many issues at Scarlet Pointe apartments, including missing fire extinguishers, a broken mailbox and living conditions that some residents call inhumane.

Resident Latasha McElhaney lives in those conditions.

“All they want is rent money and don’t fix anything, so I don’t feel safe at all,” McElhaney told White in a previous story.

There was water coming from the apartment above.

“There’s an open socket right there,” McElhaney pointed out. “And so that’s the electrical problem, not to mention the flooding that occurs.”

Charlotte City Councilman Malcolm Graham said he wasn’t aware of the living conditions at the northwest apartment complex off Toddville Road.

People should not have to live that way, he said.

Graham said he is very concerned.

“There shouldn’t be mold,” Graham said. “They shouldn’t be exposed wires. There shouldn’t be conditions that harm the individuals who are living in these communities.”

Graham added that the discrepancies pose a danger to the residents.

The county is currently investigating 18 code enforcement violations at the complex with a 19th pending violation.

The violations include smoke detectors being inoperable or missing, drainpipes damaged, leaking or missing and a breaker box with unprotected openings, which county documents flag as dangerous.

“That means there’s a problem and there are consistent problems and all the cases are based on phone calls that we receive from tenants who are living here,” Graham said. “Some are closer to civil litigation.”

Graham said the city is working with the company that manages this property, which is based in Atlanta.

“There are some immediate things I believe they should be able to do,” he said. “Again, the new management team is in place and they have acknowledged that there were issues here and they said they’re committed to making things better. I tend to focus on what people do versus what they say, and we’re going to see how long it takes them to come into compliance. And the first thing to do is to resolve the 19 open cases.”

Graham said if tenants are paying rent, they should have something to show for it.

“I think people are upset,” he said. “They’re fed up. It doesn’t matter what you’re paying. If you’re paying for a product or service, from a very basic standard, it should be up to par.”

The goal is to make things better for the families, and not to shut down the complex.

The management company, which took over the property on Nov. 1, has invested $500,000 in improvements.

VIDEO: Residents living at ‘deteriorating’ apartments say they can’t get mail delivered

Almiya White

Almiya White, wsoctv.com

Almiya White is a reporter for WSOC-TV

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