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City owns run-down apartments, residents upset with lack of improvements

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 22:04:31-04

Run down apartments, cracked ceilings and floors, even bathtubs with burns and cracks on them, hundreds of Valley residents call these apartments home.

The Village Foothills, located near 7th and Southern avenues, is a city owned low income housing complex, managed by a contracted third party.

Danielle Uzeta reached out to ABC15 saying she was worried about the safety of her mother, especially after a fire in the apartment was sparked due to what they believed was faulty wiring.

"We've complained about so many problems to the management but they keep changing managers, sometimes they have our paperwork, other times they don't even know who we are," said Uzeta.

City officials looked into records and said they had not seen any documented complaints from Uzeta or her mother, apart from plumbing issues.

Another woman who asked us not to release her name told ABC15 she was in the management office almost every day complaining about issues in her apartment and was always told they'd put it on the list, or they didn't have the funds to fix the problem, and nothing would be done.

Uzeta said other than the aesthetic issues of the cracked walls and screen doors hanging on by a thread, they worried about crime in the area and the safety of residents. Uzeta said she saw broken glass all over the children's playground, and her mother constantly heard gun shots and fighting outside her front door almost every night.

"The first day we moved in here I ordered pizza because it was a long day, the pizza person told us they don't deliver here anymore because the delivery guy got held up at gun point," said Uzeta.

Her mother did not want us to use her name; she told ABC15 she felt like a "lesser human being" by being forced to live in those conditions.

The last straw for her was when she left to go run an errand and came home to find her apartment filled with smoke this week. Firefighters told her a couch next to an outlet had caught on fire.

City officials said the cause of the fire was still under investigation, but the woman felt it was because of faulty wiring in the home. She says she had complained about faulty outlets not working in the home. The property manager had given her an extension cord that ran over her sink to run the refrigerator. When she complained about her microwave not working, she said maintenance just shrugged off her concerns.

Her mother was still living in the same apartment that caught on fire.

Uzeta also showed ABC15 the damage left behind after maintenance managers painted the smoke damaged walls. The coffee table, items on it, and the mementos had paint splattered all over it.

"I feel like trash, I feel like trash, and I'm very scared," said the woman.

ABC15 reached out to the City of Phoenix with these concerns. Keon Montgomery said the city contracted with a third party company to run the day to day operations of the property.

Montgomery also acknowledged that the complex was one of the older ones in Phoenix.

"We are in the process of trying to redevelop that site," said Montgomery. 

He encouraged residents who felt the property managers were not addressing their issues to contact the city's housing department.