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Apartment Renter Takes Action After Doctors Say Living Conditions Causing Health Problems


Leaky pipes, unpatched holes and unwelcome insects. Those are just a few of the issues the residents in a building in the Near South neighborhood have had to deal with. Now the city's involved, mandating that issues get fixed by the end of the month.

The building's owner, Mike Wilson, said that one resident is just trying to kick up dust as he is being evicted. But, other tenants have similar problems.

"The doctor said that I had been exposed to mold and put me on a steroid to clear the mold out of my system," said Samar Akins who filed the complaint with the City.

Wilson said he didn't know of any serious issues until the City stepped in earlier this year after Akins filed his complaint.

But after the initial complaint in January, Wilson said the City only found poor hygiene in Akins' apartment, which isn't considered a serious issue.

"I'm proactive. When something's wrong I like to get on top of it because I don't want to have problems causing damage to my building," said Wilson.

But residents besides Akins claim they've brought up simlar concerns in their own apartments.

"We've been here for 7 years and there's a huge hole in our bathroom that water leaks through, really dirty water. And it's kind of been rotting through the walls and the paint," said Miguel Gonzalez whose family lives below Akins.

Gonzalez's father said eventually the management company came to patch up the hole. They put up the piece of drywall and said they'd be back, then never returned.

"My dad's called him plenty of times and he says he's going to come and fix it but usually something happens, like it gets cancelled or they haven't come and fix it," said Gonzalez.

It's not clear whether residents reported their issues to Wilson or to one of the management companies he's had taking care of his properties, of which there have been a few over the years. Wilson maintains he didn't know of the hole in the Gonzalez's ceiling- and couldn't because he lives in Florida.

"If I would have been there I'm sure I would have noticed that it still needed repairing and it would have been taken care of. Sometimes good help is hard to find," said Wilson.

Ultimately, though, the problems may be more than his residents are willing to deal with anymore.

"That's first and foremost, my kids and their health and safety," said Akins.

Akins said he's trying to move... And the Gonzalez family wants to as well.

"We've talked about it a lot," said Gonzalez.

Wilson said the City gave him until March 24th to repair the problems, but said they'll be done before then.


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