MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Serenity Towers, a senior living facility, was back in court on Friday due to a lack of air conditioning.
Residents say that they have been without air and working elevators for weeks, despite the property management saying they have a plan in place.
“These people keep saying corporate is aware of it. They’re working on it, but we don’t ever see any progress,” one resident said.
Property management along with their new attorney appeared in court to address the concerns. However, environmental court Judge Patrick Dandridge seemed a bit confused stating that the last time they met only four units were without air conditioning.
“So, a storm must’ve happened between that time and today or at some point,” Judge Dandridge said. “And so now, there was a power surge and now we’re out of air completely. Is that correct? Ok.”
Serenity Towers property management blames a power surge saying, “We have engaged with MLGW to work on the surges and the power outage.”
Representatives for Serenity’s parent company Millennia say they’ve provided cooling stations as well as alternate cooling units for residents. They also say they conduct wellness checks every four hours.
Even though city code enforcement confirmed these details in court, several residents have different stories.
“There are no cooling stations here. Go in there and look. So, whoever told that lie really did lie,” residents said.
Management says they plan on having air conditioning restored to all units within 24 hours, but residents do not trust that statement.
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“The problem is that they keep slapping these people on the hand, giving them chance after chance, but what about us,” one resident said.
A spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sent a statement on Serenity Towers.
“The safety and wellbeing of Serenity Towers’ residents is HUD’s foremost concern.
HUD is continuing to closely monitor Serenity Towers. Millennia Housing Management (“Millennia”), the property’s management agent, has notified HUD that service has been restored to one elevator in each building. Millennia is working with their contractor to return the other two elevators to working order. Millennia has informed HUD that Serenity Towers’ air conditioning chiller is presently out of service. Millennia is performing wellness checks with the tenants and have contacted their HVAC contractor to restore air conditioning in all units.
Per Millennia, the hot water is functional, with reduced pressures and they have ordered a new water circulating pump to improve the conditions.
HUD will determine any appropriate next steps to safeguard tenants and ensure all units are safe and sanitary and comply with our physical condition standards.”
WREG tried speaking to the property manager after court about the residents’ concerns but she declined to comment.
Millenia also owns Peppertree, Hope Heights, and Memphis Towers along with Serenity Towers.