Hopewell property manager speaks out on code violations

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - The manager of a Hopewell apartment complex, deemed unsafe by the city, is speaking out for the first time.

Steven Whitlow says he's working to fix numerous code violations at the Prince George Terrace Complex on Warren Avenue. The violations are so bad the city is requiring tenants to leave.

The code enforcement office points to several violations at Prince George Terrace including mold and sewage problems. Whitlow says he's saddened by the situation and the priority right now is to assist displaced tenants.

"We want to help each person we can as quickly and painlessly as we can," he said.

According to the city, Whitlow, who manages 5 properties for Hopewell Partners LLC, has had some 900 code violations dating back to 2002.

"We're going to continue to work as best we can to address each situation from the city manager to code enforcement," said Whitlow.

Those properties include 600 East Broadway, Hillcrest Apartments, Towne Square, Canterbury Townhouses, and Prince George Terrace.

Steven Mann lives at Prince George Terrace he's one of 63 renters who were told on Friday to be out by Wednesday.

"It's a hardship and it's an inconvenience," said Mann.

He's moved all of his belongings and is worried some of the problems pointed out by code enforcement have impacted his son's health

"He was having a hard time breathing and I don't know if this is the reason behind it," said Mann.

The city says once Whitlow corrects the problems tenants can move back into their units.

"The first thing he needs to do is clean up the mess that's there and then fix the problem that created that situation. We don't want anyone there to expose themselves to potential further health hazards," said John Altman, Hopewell Assistant City Manager.

Whitlow has until March 25th to correct the problems at Prince George Terrace. If he doesn't the case could end up in court.

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