SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Shreveport city council member is ready to take action after seeing the living conditions at an apartment complex in her district.
Residents in Villa Norte apartments said they have been without running hot water, air conditioning, and sewer problems for days. Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor visited the complex earlier this week and said the conditions are so horrific the city has already taken action.
“We cited them as from the city of Shreveport regarding all of these infractions that they have,” she said.
People who live in Villa Norte apartments in Shreveport said they have had to live in unhealthy conditions, and now that the property is under new management they see no help in sight.
“The conditions living over here, with all due respect, is poor,” Villa Norte resident Sharon Cormier said.
“It is just so bad over here right now. The trash be everywhere we have nobody to talk to and kids can’t even come outside and play,” Joyce Washington said.
One resident said he’s had to endure the scorching summer heat while having no A/C.
“I ain’t had no air for almost four days, well to tell you the truth almost a week. and man it’s hot in there,” Walter Smith told us.
“Our constituents deserve better than what they are receiving. and these companies that come from out of town or change properties owners every few months and property managers where individuals can not get in touch with them is just incomprehensible,” Taylor said.
Residents explained that the foul smell of raw sewage, just a few feet away from their doors, smells unbelievable, and the toxicants surrounding it make it hard for one grandmother to sit on the porch with her new granddaughter.
“I’m going to the office to tell them about the conditions and there is a newborn that has come in this and it was like okay we got somebody on it but in three months you mean to tell me you can’t find anyone to fix the issue,” the grandmother said.
Councilwoman Taylor said the lack of human compassion is what frustrates her the most about the new management of the property.
“Which simply says to me you don’t value them one bit, you don’t value them at all. You’re not taking the proper steps to ensure that they have the basic necessities that they need. Basic housing is a need,” Taylor said.
“We living in a slump and here it is on the ground to where you can see it; you can smell it,” Chris Thomas, who’s a resident of Villa Norte said.
The city has gone out once before trying to fix the plumbing, but the drain continues to overflow with toxic waste.
“The problem is once they reach that five-day notice we could turn off the water to all of the tenants and then we’d have another problem,” Taylor explained.
Taylor said an ordinance has already been put in place and revised this year
when it comes to increasing the fines and penalties for misdemeanor criminal violations
for housing and property standards. Click below to view.
Joyce Washington said they just want attention and help. “We want them to come over and clean this up and help us out to live better. We pay rent here so why can’t we live in a nice place.”
We did try reaching out to the management while on the property but no one responded. Councilwoman Taylor said the new owners have 9 days to comply before they enforce fines and penalties.