Residents unhappy with building conditions

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Complaining to the landlord, got them nowhere. So some Richmond seniors organized and called 12 on Your Side.

About 30 of them talked with us about problems at "Stonewall Place" an independent living, facility run by Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Some complaints are shocking and unbelievable that the conditions they site,

"Between 2nd and 3rd and 1st, you can get trapped any time."

Elevators in the senior apartment building have expired inspection stickers. See the February '08 date. Plus, they shake and shimmy and they're noisy....

"We did have one person to get caught and it went all the way down to the basement without stopping," said Stonewall Place resident Shirley Giles.

We can't verify whether the elevators are safe or not but residents are afraid to ride them.

"We so scared we're going to get caught in it," she said.

Broken washers and not enough laundry equipment to accommodate everyone, is another problem. One working machine for 70 people.

"They told us they were not going to fix the big machine because it cost them too much money, like 15 hundred dollars," Giles said.

Residents signed petitions to be given to R.R.H.A. They also have Councilman Marty Jewel in the fight.

Like the tenants, Jewel is most disturbed by what he calls intimidating management practices, like charging to do laundry.

"Now you're down to one and you're going to beat 'em up over the head and say I'm going to put a coin operated machine in here because y'all went and told that you got a problem. That's filthy, that's evil," said Councilman Marty Jewel.

Stonewall Place is six floors, residents range from 55 to 93. 11 residents are handicapped with cars, but there are only 3 handicap parking spaces.

"And two of them are all the way down to the far end of the back parking lot and they've got 17 steps to climb to get up to the building," Jewell said.

"They write you up. They find a way to intimidate and frighten you. People are afraid they're going to be put out," said Barbara Williams, who lives at Stonewall Place.

We made many attempts to get R.R.H.A. to respond. It chose not to return our calls and e-mails. Councilman Jewel says residents need to sue. Central Virginia Legal Aid would only say it's representing the tenants.

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