UPDATE: Residents who spoke with WREG about conditions at Memphis Towers said they were given eviction notices or not allowed to sign a new lease.
A representative with Millennia issued the following statement on June 13th:
The property management team acts legally and appropriately in matters of issuing lease violations with documentation to support these actions. There are not only house rules and procedures, which are acknowledged and signed by residents, but the management team also follows the program requirements as established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Broadly speaking, lease violations can be issued for a range of issues, including threatening or harassing behavior, drugs, unauthorized occupants, and refusing management entry for inspections, among others. While we will not comment publicly on individual cases, once an eviction action is filed, the complaint is public.
The statement that Ms. Collins is not allowed to sign a new lease is false.
If a resident abides by the terms of lease and meets HUD program requirements, they will remain in good standing.
Note: This story has been updated to include a response from Millennia Housing Management.
MEMPHIS, Tenn.– We have been telling you about issues at Serenity Towers, but people living at Memphis Towers say they’re also living in chaos.
The two apartment complexes, which house seniors and the disabled, are managed by the same company, and that company is no stranger to problems.
Residents like Lewis Martin and Yvonne Collins at Memphis Towers, on Court Avenue in the Medical District, say they lost water for a month and have lived through intermittent shutoffs without notice, unable to flush toilets or to bathe.
“We have had a nickname for it for a while. It’s been known as the death trap prison. I have been trapped in the elevator five times,” Martin said.
“My hot water went out the first week of April. The next week everybody’s went out. We were without hot water for almost a month before we got even 5 days of hot water,” Collins said.
This isn’t the first time Memphis Towers residents had issues with hot water. Residents were left without hot water for almost two weeks in 2016.
They also showed us pictures taken inside some of the apartments, showing what they say they have been living without, plus rat infestations and plumbing leaks.
“Black mold, water damage and it’s still leaking. Nothing is being done,” Martin said.
That is on the heels of Serenity Towers residents complaining about issues where they live, including not having air conditioning.
Both properties are managed by Millennia Housing Management. WREG Investigators have been tracing the issues for years.
WREG did extensive reporting on how the management company bought several properties from Global Ministries Foundation back in 2016.
GMF owned a long list of Section 8 Housing Complexes plagued with problems. Millennia, which owns and manages properties, was expected by many to finally be a saving grace for tired tenants.
But these folks say otherwise.
“Pay your rent and don’t ask for nothing,” Collins said. “What do you want to happen? I want hot water 24 hours a day.”
Thursday morning, representatives with Millennia responded, saying the hot water is on at Memphis Towers, though there have been intermittent issues that should be resolved soon.
The hot water is on at Memphis Towers. Several weeks ago, the primary boiler went down, affecting hot water service to all units. The team immediately found a temporary trailer-mounted boiler to provide service to the apartment complex; however, there have been intermittent issues with the ignition, causing temporary disruptions in hot water service. To solve for this, the team at Memphis Towers has the vendor on call 24/7, and the technician has replaced the ignition twice since installing the temporary boiler. Given the recurring issues with the temporary system, the team has asked the vendor to develop an alternative solution that may involve replacing more parts or bringing in a new temporary boiler (a new boiler is on order).Millennia management
The company representative went on to say that the apartments are undergoing a “substantial rehabilitation” at a cost of $17 million, or $57,400 per unit. The work includes new kitchens, bathrooms, appliances and HVAC, among other improvements.
Construction on the C Tower is complete and residents are expected to move into the renovated apartments this month, the company said.
We reached out to the Department of Housing and Urban Development since Millenia provides Section 8 housing. They told us when the property is not kept in a safe and sanitary condition, the owners are held to the terms of the contract.