MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The owners who get federal funding to run several local apartment buildings face more criticism for tenant conditions.
Millennia Companies own Hope Heights, Memphis Towers, Serenity at Highland and several other properties.
The WREG Problem Solvers spoke with a Hope Heights resident who did not want to be identified out of fear of retaliation. WREG has previously reported on tenants’ allegations that the ownership company practices in retaliatory behavior against tenants who go public with their concerns.
“A lot of people have disabilities, most do. A lot of them use walking sticks, a lot have chairs,” the tenant said.
They talked about frequent issues, like broken laundry facilities and hot water that’s been out for at least two weeks.
“Who wants to get up every day and boil water on the stove just so you can have hot water to bathe in?” the tenant said.
When WREG asked Millennia officials about it, they said there’s a leak and they’d ordered a part.
“It’s time consuming. It’s stressful,” the tenant said.
The issues are part of a pattern of similar problems we’ve covered at other Millennia properties, like broken air conditioning at Serenity at Highland and hot water that didn’t work for months at Memphis Towers.
The problems did eventually get solved. At Memphis Towers, tenants organized into a union.
“We were able to pressure them into finally installing a functional water boiler,” said Becky, a Memphis Towers resident.
But she said her efforts came at a cost; several of her neighbors have faced eviction threats. Millennia officials deny the eviction threats were retaliatory.
Bridget Simmons, a lawyer with the National Housing Law Project, helps advise a group called the Millennia Resistance campaign. She is helping tenants file appeals with HUD for better enforcement and to stand up for taxpayer dollars.
“This is not just happening here. This is something happening at several properties,” Simmons said.
“If they getting that funding, the funding should be used to keep the building up,” said the tenant we interviewed. “They need to get it fixed.”
Tenants in Hope Heights have now connected with tenants in the other Millennia buildings and the Problem Solvers will continue pushing for action.
Millenia officials said they are working on the hot water problem saying the vendor had opened walls and ordered parts. They did not provide a timeline for when hot water would be back.
► Got a problem? Contact WREG Problem Solver Stacy Jacobson at 901-543-2334 or email@example.com