MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thursday was another day, another court appearance as deplorable living conditions continue at a Memphis high rise for seniors and the disabled.
Inside Serenity Towers on Highland, senior citizens and the disabled continue to live in conditions such as no air conditioning, the lack of hot water, mold, and an infestation of insects.
Jeff Alexander visits his wife at a housing complex next to Serenity’s.
“Nobody should be living in those conditions, especially when you’re charging me to under these particular circumstances,” Alexander said. “No, I don’t think anyone should have to sustain those health problems.”
For months, residents have complained about the apartment management company, Millennia Housing Management, and reported their problems to Shelby County Code Enforcement.
It’s why for the second time this week and for the second week in a row, Judge Patrick Dandridge ordered Millennia’s attorneys back to Shelby County Environmental Court for an update on repairs.
Attorney Ben Sissman told the court the air conditioning parts needed to make repairs have finally arrived.
“They expect to do that today and they’ll start loading the Freon tomorrow. The Freon is here,” Sissman said.
But the court was told it could be weeks, if not months, before acceptable hot water levels are restored.
“Fourteen to 16 weeks,” Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Michael McCusker said. “We are talking months to get their hot water back?”
“I cannot accept the temperature reading being that low for 14 to 16 weeks,” Dandridge said. “So, getting the part is fine, but you’re going to have to come up with an alternative.”
As some repair work begins, Alexander says the apartment’s management should face severe fines until the deplorable conditions come to an end.
“I’m talking about $20,000 dollars fines. There’s no way anyone should have to live in those conditions,” Alexander said.
Attorneys have been ordered to return to Shelby County Environmental Court Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.