MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Attorneys for Serenity Towers and the District Attorney’s Office squared off Tuesday in Shelby County Environmental Court and a judge is now demanding change.
There’s no air conditioning, no hot water, black mold, and an insect infestation.
These are conditions usually described when talking about a third world or war-torn country, but residents say this is life at Serenity Towers High Rise in Memphis. WREG spoke to Shelby County District Attorney Michael McCusker about conditions at Serenity Towers.
“I served in Afghanistan in better conditions than these people are living. That’s what struck me is that here in this city people are living like this and it’s a continuance problem,” McCusker said.
For the second week in a row, conditions at this government subsidized apartment complex are the reason attorneys are back in Shelby County Environmental Court. Ben Sissman represents Serenity Towers and said parts to repair the AC have been ordered, but he’s not sure when they’ll arrive.
“I don’t want anyone to think that neither I or my local people or the folks at corporate, we are all interested in getting this thing fixed,” Sissman said.
Shelby County Code Enforcement inspectors were at the complex last Friday. They found the hot water still isn’t at a safe or acceptable level and they’re concerned about the air conditioning.
“We do understand it may be on a truck and on the way…but we still have elderly citizens that are suffering through this heat,” an inspector told us.
Residents have also complained about mold and a fruit fly infestation. Judge Patrick Dandridge wants the issues fixed and soon.
“Now is the time to correct all the violations at the property. We’re going to start one at time. The essentials ones: I need the hot water and the air,” Judge Dandridge said.
WREG tried to talk with attorney Ben Sissman after the hearing.
“I have said I have no comment and that should be sufficient,” Sissman said.
Residents said they continue to live in ‘insufficient’ conditions.
Shelby County Code Enforcement was told to return to the complex today to continue their inspection.
Attorneys for Serenity Towers and the DA’s office will be back in environmental court Thursday morning.