Two months after Cleveland’s Rental Inspection Unit and Health Department cited a low-income housing complex for violations including mold, mice and missing smoke alarms, inspectors returned to the complex to check on the progress. According to City Councilman Kevin Conwell, some of the violations have been remedied while others have not been fixed.
According to records obtained by News 5, inspectors found a total of 54 different violations in the 53 units that were surveyed in late June at Park Place Apartments, located at 1435 East Blvd. in Cleveland. The violations included 22 citations for faulty, missing or out-of-date smoke detectors – an obvious hazard in the event of a fire. Records show there were six citations for leaky pipes in the bathrooms. There were also four violations for flaking or peeling paint and five more violations for holes in the walls of the apartment units.
Additionally, according to records provided to News 5 through a public records request, the Cleveland Department of Public Health found mold was growing in at least nine apartment units in the complex, another violation. Inspectors took pictures of the mold, which could be seen sprawling in and around tubs, tile and plumbing fixtures. Inspectors also reported finding mice and roaches in some of the units, according to inspection records.
Park Place is owned by American Community Developers and managed by Independent Management Services. Both companies are based in Michigan. According to inspection records, management hired pest remediation companies to rid the affected units of mice and bed bugs. On one particular work order, the inspection company deployed more than 340 mouse traps as part of a “mass trapping” program.
While the work orders suggest some progress is being made at Park Place, many tenants that spoke to News 5 said the progress isn’t coming quickly enough.
“[There’s] a lot of improvement that they need to be doing, but they choose not to do it,” tenant Shytione Mcintosh said. “There are things going on around my apartment that we do not like. The kitchen, some of the cabinets are missing. We keep asking them to replace [them], but they don’t replace them. There are a lot of things they haven’t done to the apartment.”
Management appears to have hired a local company to make the physical repairs needed to get the property in compliance. Such repairs include filling holes in the drywall and replacing the faulty plumbing and electrical fixtures.
“I’m comfortable with being able to be a part of the demonstration to help rehab it and make sure people are living comfortably,” said Clarence Flowers, an employee of Willis & Son Construction. “I want [the tenants] to say, ‘Oh yea, he did all that. He fixed my apartment. He laid my carpet down. He re-did my electrical.’ I definitely want to be a part of that.”
Flowers said the goal is to completely fix five apartment units a week until their contract has been satisfied.
Earlier this month, inspectors from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development surveyed Park Place as part of its annual inspection. However, the results of that inspection have not been made public yet.