KENWOOD — Residents of a destitute South Side affordable apartment complex are accused of sustaining dirty and unsafe living conditions for years before city officials stepped in to hire new leaders. We are suing the owner and the evicted property manager.
Tonette Hammond, Karen Harrison, and Ashley Salibelas filed a class action lawsuit Thursday on behalf of residents of the Ellis Lakeview Apartments at 4624 S. Ellis Ave. Filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Courtnames Apex Chicago LLC, Integra Affordable Management and property manager Andrew Swinkoski as defendants.
Ellis Lakeview Tenants Organized Nearly Two Years To force Apex and Integra to clean up the extensive damage and filth in the 105 unit building. Residents have reported garbage build-up, plumbing issues, vermin infestations, security breaches, broken elevators, and other issues since at least September 2020.
Read all articles about Block Club’s Ellis Lakeview Apartments here.
vertex Acquired Ellis Lakeview for $10.75 million August 2019, according to Chicago Cityscape.building failed 27 city inspections and 158 code violations While under the jurisdiction of Apex and Integra.
A Cook County judge ordered Apex to remove Integra as property manager in June.but fell short of bringing in a third-party owner. 5T management I took over management to address issues such as building security, plumbing, roofs, elevators, missing smoke detectors, emergency lighting, drywall, windows, and asbestos-contaminated vacant apartments.
In a statement, the resident’s attorney said it was time for Ellis Lakeview’s neighbors to “get justice after years of well-documented negligence personally.”
“With this lawsuit, we hope to send a message to Apex and other HUD landlords that it is not okay to let people live in such horrible conditions. We can’t, and we’d like to send messages to other HUD tenants to give them the power to fight the dreaded landlord.
The Ellis Lakeview issue escalated shortly after Apex took ownership in 2019, according to lawsuits and neighbors.
By late 2019, one of the 11-story building’s two elevators had failed and had not been repaired for nearly a year, the lawsuit says. Elevators repeatedly broke down in 2020 and 2021, forcing residents to climb stairs to avoid spreading the coronavirus, according to the lawsuit.
Low water pressure throughout the building, lack of hot water, and dirty and dirty water running into sinks and tubs date back to at least November 2020, according to the complaint. One resident told Block Club Neighbors struggled to do basic household chores, having to boil water to take a shower or wash the dishes.
Apex and Integra didn’t start fixing their plumbing problems until this year, the lawsuit says. Once work began, workers cut large holes in the drywall of all the apartments and left them open for “an unacceptably long period of time,” the lawsuit says. Apex and Integra also failed to pay plumbing contractors who quit on unfinished work, the lawsuit alleges.
From March to November 2020, the resident did not have a valid mailbox, according to the complaint. A neighbor told Block Club The postman refused to put anything in the broken box, so building managers and residents were responsible for sorting the mail.
The lawsuit says trash piles up in hallways and common areas, attracting insects and rodents. A neighbor told Block Club So much garbage accumulated that the chute retreated to the 6th floor.
Apex disarmed the building’s 24-hour security, failed to repair the parking gate lock for months, and left the building’s front door unprotected for months, the lawsuit says.
With Apex and Integra, the entire building was infested with rats, rats and vermin for over a year, did not provide adequate heating to the occupants, was painted over instead of getting rid of the mold problem, and leaked I didn’t fix the roof for months. Sustained flooding in apartments and hallways was not resolved, the lawsuit said.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said it would fail to deliver Apex and Integra in early 2021.Neat, safe and sanitary housingIt said the company “showed a blatant disregard” for requests to rectify the dire situation.
“The Ellis Lakeview tenants were forced to live as a result of these system failures.
[uninhabitable] The conditions…” the lawsuit states.
According to the lawsuit, the attorneys are seeking class action status on behalf of everyone who lived in Ellis Lakeview between July 29, 2019 and June 8, 2022, and are currently and previously They say they have over 100 tenants.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees.
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