Hopewell Viewer calls NBC 12 for help about "apartment hazards"

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - A viewer reaches out to NBC12 for help about what she calls "multiple hazards" inside her Hopewell home.

Dorothy Flowers is fed-up. She lives in public housing and says for months she's tried to get Hopewell Redevelopment and Housing Authority to fix several problems in her apartment -- but has had little success.

Flowers invited NBC 2 to her home for a tour. She pointed out gaps and cracks in the wall and damaged electrical outlets. Some of the outlets are rusted.

"It's not supposed to be like that," said Flowers.

There appears to be faulty electrical wiring. The stereo turns on and off without prompting. Flowers call that a potential fire hazard. And then there are bugs that Flowers say she finds in her unit regularly.

"I'm disabled. I got rights too. I shouldn't be living like this," said Flowers.

She showed paperwork documenting her requests to the housing authority for repairs. No one from the housing authority would appear on camera.

Instead, a statement was issued that says in part, "We are dedicated to providing the best services possible to our residents. We were not aware of any current problems with Ms. Flowers apartment. We previously completed all known work orders reported for Ms. Flowers unit. The new deficiencies will be addressed immediately."

The letter also says a recent diagnosis of the wiring was done at Flowers' home and no defect was discovered. We took Flowers' complaints to the legal aid society.

"What she needs to do is to take the notice that was given to the landlord and her next month's rent down to general district court and file a tenants assertion - rent escrow lease," said Martin Wegbreit.

He also says that immediate problems inside a rented home, such as faulty wiring must be fixed by a landlord within days.

"The landlord has the duty to keep the premises fit and habitable," he added.

Flowers says she'll continue to fight until the problems are fixed.

"They need to do what's right," said Flowers.

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