An unstable railing, a broken door latch, and a hole in the roof are among the complaints tenants of Wedgewood Apartments in Bloomfield shared with NBC Connecticut on Wednesday.
“Garbage be everywhere,” said 87-year-old Johnnie Grice.
“This is the worst. I mean 31 years and I’ve never lived in this kind of condition before,” added Jacqueline Massey-Greene.
Massey-Greene said she was headed down to the laundry room in her building last month when she discovered a hole in the ceiling.
“As we pushed the door that’s when we saw the hole and the ceiling down,” she recalled. “It was quite scary. I mean it could have fallen on either one of our heads.”
Massey-Greene said she’s been telling the property manager since spring that the ceiling was buckling. A town building inspector told NBC Connecticut that a hole in the roof saturated the insulation leading the ceiling tiles to fall through the grid.
He said he was told by the property supervisor the day it happened, November 13, that the roof would be repaired immediately. It wasn’t.
“Nothing gets done. You call the office. You complain. Nobody gets back to you, nobody says anything,” said Massey-Greene.
Grice said her apartment is infested with mice, a problem she believes is only getting worse the longer it gets ignored.
“When they multiply then they all over the place,” said Grice. “I’m jumping up on the couch because I’m scared,” said Grice. “Imagine me at my age I fall and break something.”
Grice says she’s tried to contact her housing case worker, but can’t get a hold of her either.
“I just want them to do what they’re supposed to do,” she said.
Bloomfield’s town building official, Kimberly Rogers, came out to the site Wednesday after NBC Connecticut brought the tenants’ complaints to the building department.
Rogers said the property manager promised to have the roof patched up Thursday and plans to replace it in the spring.
Residents used to be able to buzz guests in, but ever since the intercom system broke they’ve have had to walk to the door to let people in. It’s more than just an inconvenience for the residents that live in Massey-Greene’s building. She says one is 97 years old and the other 95 years old.
“You have elderly people in the building, they can’t walk down the hall. It’s totally ridiculous and they refuse to fix it,” she said.
With the intercom out, Massey-Greene said some of her neighbors leave the back door open.
“You can’t go down and do the laundry. You’re afraid to go downstairs. You don’t know what’s in the hallway down there.”
Grice has lived in this apartment complex for 25 years. She said she feels powerless.
“Because there ain’t nothing you can do about it,” she said. “I think they know that the elderly people are not going anywhere because it’s hard for us.”
According to Imagineers, the agency that oversees the Housing Choice Voucher program, there are seven Section 8 tenants.
A spokesperson told NBC Connecticut the rent to two of those units was abated for violations that weren’t fixed within 30 days including a toilet that didn’t flush properly.
Arba Equities, LCC purchased the property in April of 2020. Their management company, Up Realty, is listed at the same East Hartford address.
They did not respond to our email or phone call.
Rogers plans to return to the property on Thursday to reinspect the roof.