Tenants at troubled Madison Tower Apartments say they’ve been without A/C for months

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More complaints are emerging about the living conditions at a downtown Memphis apartment building for the elderly and disabled.

People at the Madison Tower Apartments say their air conditioning is broken — the latest in a slew of problems WREG has covered at the complex over the past couple of years.

The calendar may say it’s fall, but the 90-plus degree temperatures say otherwise. And people living at the taxpayer-funded apartments tell WREG they’re suffering.

“I ain’t got no air,” James Speaks said.

He uses a breathing machine for asthma, and says he’s been without air in the sweltering heat for three days.

“It’s rough. It’s awful,” he said. “My room feels like an oven. I come out here at 5 o’clock this morning to get some air.”

Others say it’s been months since they’ve had A/C.

“It’s a sweatbox,” one man said.

Like many of the people WREG has spoken to at Madison Tower, he was too afraid to show his face on camera, saying management has threatened tenants for reaching out to news outlets for help.

“If they communicate with media, they’ll get threatened to get put out,” he said.

He says the suffocating heat has gotten so bad, he’s not even staying at his own apartment.

“I stay with a friend of mine,” he said. “I pay my rent, but I be over at a friend’s house.”

Some of the tenants say that because of recent work management did to the property, they can no longer even open their windows to let in fresh air.

WREG has covered numerous stories about similar problems at the apartments.

Back in November, people living there spent more than a week without heat, hot water or working stoves.

After every story, management has promised to fix the issues. But every time, WREG has continued to hear the same complaints.

“If they can’t get it fixed, it’s time for me to go,” Speaks said. “Yeah, I got to find me somewhere else to go.”

City leaders have said in the past that if your apartment was rented with A/C and it stopped working, that’s a code violation, and to report it immediately. You can report violations by calling 311 or downloading the Memphis 311 app.

Madison Tower hasn’t responded to WREG’s request for comment.

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