MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It only took a judge a matter of minutes to tell those representing Serenity Towers that getting things up to code remains a top priority.
Thursday, a lawyer representing the subsidized apartments for seniors told the court about the ongoing problems that have plagued the complex for quite some time. He said the issues are still being ironed out, although most of the work is said to be complete.
For years, many living at the Serenity Towers have demanded much-needed improvements.
One man we spoke with off camera, who did not want to be identified, said he had called the taxpayer funded high rise his home for the last six years, and spoke to the media about it almost three years ago.
But the situation did not improve, he told us. A lack of hot water, toilets backing up, and elevators not working were just some of the issues he mentioned.
“I don’t like to keep repeating myself, and nothing is really being manifested,” the man said.
The most pressing problem were the AC units not working, with temperatures outside some days in the triple digits.
However, the majority of those units are now operational. Other outstanding issues have been corrected as well, Judge Patrick Dandridge was told Thursday in environmental court.
The lawyer representing Serenity Towers, Ben Sissman, told the court that things are still moving in the right direction.
“Making sure that everything that needs to be done to bring the building up to compliance and cold is being done and so we are trying to make sure it’s all done,” Sissman said. “We think we have done everything that needs to be done, or close to it to make everybody happy.”
Hearing this is welcome news for many living at Serenity Towers.
Sadly, there are few options for housing that’s both affordable and attainable. For many, the court’s decision is their last resort.
“The judge wants to city to do a sweep of all the units, and we’re not sure the city will be able to do it now and between then. We are hopeful. We would like to wrap this up,” Sissman said.
Judge Dandridge said it is now time for Code Enforcement to make its way back in to confirm everything is in compliance.
Meanwhile, the judge also ordered those with Serenity Towers to report back to court in one week, on July 14, to assess where things stand.