CLEVELAND — Dozens of tenants living at Cleveland's Residences at Shaker Square and two other buildings shared their concerns about living conditions with building ownership during a Feb. 22 meeting.
Tenants told representatives with Shaker Heights Apartments Owners LLC, Cleveland Council President Blaine Griffin and Ward 4 Councilwoman Deborah Gray that they're tired of dealing with what they called chronic heating, trash and plumbing issues at the apartment complex.
The meeting on Wednesday at Cummins Hall was prompted after Councilwoman Gray made a Feb. 10 visit to apartment ownership headquarters in New York City demanding the company make building improvements and address numerous code violations in Cleveland Housing Court.
Residences at Shaker Square tenant Anderson Waldon told News 5 he's been dealing with plumbing issues for a year, and claims his unit hasn't had kitchen cabinets for two years.
“I’ve got infestation, they say they can’t take care of the roaches and stuff until they replace the cabinetry, but they wouldn’t replace the cabinetry, so until you do one you can’t do the other,” Waldon said. “I have a hole in my bathroom in the ceiling, I’ve had eight leaks there, I’ve had 8 leaks in the kitchen.”
According to Cleveland Housing Court records building ownership has filed eviction notices against 26 tenants living in the three buildings. The ongoing legal battle has more than a dozen tenants holding their rent in court-sanctioned escrow accounts until repairs are made.
Tenant leader Ron James told News 5 he doesn't believe the evictions have any merit, and is skeptical the Feb. 22 tenant meeting will produce any significant building upgrades.
“I mean number one they can’t evict anybody, there’s a freeze on, so why are you trying evict anybody when you can’t do so, you know there are still problems in the building," James said. “As far as the meeting I believe it will produce more of the same, I hope they fix things, but I’m not that encouraged."
News 5 spoke with apartment ownership representatives during the tenant meeting, but group members did not want to grant an on-camera interview. Ownership representatives claim they weren't told about mounting Cleveland Housing Court violations being sent to their New York City offices. Group leadership pledged to make significant improvements to the three buildings within the next two months.
News 5 will continue to follow through on this developing story.
Meanwhile, Waldon told News 5 he and other tenants are concerned about the future, and hope problems at the apartment complex will finally be solved.
“I mean these evictions, people are nervous, they’re afraid, they don’t know where they're going or when they will get there,” Waldon said. "It could leave them out in the cold.”