Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

‘Deplorable’ living conditions at Phoenix apartment complex

Posted by Christopher Coen on August 23, 2012

Refugees in Phoenix have been resettled to an apartment complex riddled with well over 300 violations per team of Phoenix inspection officials. The rundown eyesore of a complex has conditions including lack of running water and no air conditioning, flooding, dozens of dead animals, staircases in shambles, lofts with holes in the floor, rotted porches, and rat, bedbug, and roach infestations. Some of the buildings are fit to be condemned. The refugees were apparently resettled by Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest. An article at KTAR in Phoenix has the details:

PHOENIX — Residents of the Woodbridge Apartments near 19th and Glendale avenues in Phoenix are looking to the city for help.

The rundown property is an eyesore and the living conditions are described as deplorable.

Resident Jerry Bradley claims that in a short period of time he’s had to deal with bedbugs, roaches and flooding.

Another resident, Thomas Mullins, said he can hear rats crawling in the walls and ceilings of his unit…

Earlier this week the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services obtained an administrative search warrant. Police and teams of Phoenix officials spent hours inspecting the property located at 6635 N. 19th Avenue.

“They found well over 300 violations per team,” said Officer James Holmes.

Holmes said that after they documented the findings, which include lack of running water and no air conditioning, some of the buildings are fit to be condemned.

“It’s absolutely horrible that we’re back to the slumlord issues of a few years ago,” said Holmes.

“A lot of the tenants are actually refugees and so what makes it difficult for us, even under those conditions, they are still better, than the conditions they may have left,” he added.

Police officials said they hope this will empower these refugees to speak with their sponsors and hopefully start a conversation about their tenant rights in America… Read more here

An article at AZfamily has more details

PHOENIX — Tenants at the Woodbridge Apartment complex in Phoenix are outraged over what they call deplorable, dangerous and unhealthy living conditions…

Around the complex, there are dozens of dead animals, staircases in shambles, lofts with holes in the floor, flooding and rotted porches. Some tenants said they haven’t had air conditioning in about two weeks… Read more here

and

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix is investigating whether property managers and owners of an apartment complex off of 19th Avenue are violating the Arizona Tenant Act.

People who live at the Terra Villa apartments complained of rats, mildew, mold, leaking roofs, lack of or intermittent, air conditioning, a pool full of algae, and bed bugs…

Several churches are putting elderly and very young tenants in shelters. Delight Diehn, an advocate from Lutheran Social Services went to the complex to educate tenants about their rights.

“Some of the conditions I observed may not be in line with the contract signed for the Arizona Landlord/Tenant Act,” she said… Read more here

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4 Responses to “‘Deplorable’ living conditions at Phoenix apartment complex”

  1. diana3211 said

    Why did Lutheran Social Services have to wait for the media to become involved before they did a tenants rights meeting for the refugees?

  2. diing78 said

    The refugees are often afraid to complain when living in these conditions. They’re afraid to complain about the slum lords and as well as the resettlement agencies.

  3. WoknOnAir said

    Many of the refugees have now been relocated to different apartment complexes. The agencies helped them move. Hopefully they now know their tenant rights and will not hesitate to speak up if they are faced with needed repairs, have complaints about their apartment living conditions, etc. The agencies case managers need to do a better job of identifying problems and offering solutions. Even to an outsider, the conditions mentioned above were visible to anyone who entered the complex. Case managers who should have been visiting their clients regularly would have seen the deplorable conditions. It is ridiculous that they did not do something sooner.

    • And it keeps happening over and over in cities around the US. There are no penalties for resettlement agencies who are caught red-handed violating the government resettlement contracts, so this will no doubt continue to occur.

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