HOUSTON – The city appears to be taking immediate action to address issues at the Timber Ridge apartment complex and others across the city where residents have complained.
Community leaders took to the apartments on Wednesday to lay out the measures they say they are taking, and residents are heaving sighs of relief.
“We’re here today because it’s open season on these slumlords,” said Dr Candice Matthews of the Rainbow Push Coalition. “We don’t take that in our city anymore.”
Residents of the east side complex say they feel their voices are finally being heard, after months of unresolved security, maintenance and pest issues, to name a few.
“We actually have two cats now just to take care of our rodents,” said resident Angela Escobar.
Community activists like Dr. Matthews and City Council members Robert Gallegos and Dr. Letitia Plummer say they are working with the city to make major changes.
“We had solid waste,” Gallegos said. “We had the health department, we had public works, we had legal services that were here. There are still some who are here in the complex, we sat down with the new manager, she assured us that we will work on these issues.
“Today, the mayor announced the creation of a strike force. That force is going to be a combination of habitability inspectors, health inspectors…we haven’t gotten all the details on how it’s going to work, but they’re people who will come out specifically and deal with the issues immediately,” Plummer said.
The Strike Force will operate under guidelines written in a new order called Apartment Inspection Reform which emphasizes accountability, it is expected to be completed in a few months. At the moment, city leaders are also asking residents with problems to take action.
“There’s an apartment checklist,” Plummer said.
The overflowing garbage cans had been picked up on Tuesday.
Community leaders say they’ll be back here in about a month to make sure management keeps their promise to make improvements to other issues.
Residents with ongoing apartment complex issues are encouraged to report them by calling 311 and the Houston Apartment Association at (713) 595-0300
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