ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) —
Update: Greenbrier Management is responding to concerns expressed by tenants at Twenty9 West Apartments.
The company’s vice president, Dianne Wiley, says there are rodent bait stations around the exterior of the apartment complex. She also says that maintenance staff visited Shanika Brown’s apartment this week to patch up any holes in her unit.
“Our team is very high on exceptional service in all of our communities and as long as we get the agreement with the residents, we do everything within our power to take care of everything we can within reason,” says Wiley.
She says tenants who notify management of their concerns and allow entry into the apartment will have those issues addressed.
Shanika Brown has resided at Twenty9 West Apartments, formerly Shenandoah Village, for four years. But now, she’s ready to move out.
She says she’s experienced a mice infestation and mold problem while living there.
“A lot of droppings, they’re entering into my dog’s food,” Brown said. “We’re finding urination from the mice. They’re coming up through the stoves, eating the foundation from there.”
According to Brown, the apartment complex is under new management and has raised the rent for some of the tenants. But even as her rent is going up, Brown says the problems persist. She says she and other residents at the complex participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 Program, a program for families and individuals under certain income limits. Brown says the rent increases are making the complex unaffordable for many.
“That makes it ineffective for them to live here because the Housing Authority is telling them they can’t afford it due to their income,” said Brown. “So that’s putting them in a hardship because they’re going to have to move their children somewhere else.”
A former resident of the complex says she experienced roach problem.
“I’ve said it ever since I lived here. They need to tear this building down and build up anew,” says Tracey Bailey.
WFXR News attempted to reach the property manager for Twenty9 West Apartments, but the office was closed. In an email, Luke Williams of Greenbrier Management Company said, “We have no comment at this time.”
WFXR News reached out to the City of Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA), which provided the following statement.
“That location is not a public housing development of the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority. While there may be some tenants who have a Housing Choice Voucher issued by the housing authority to reside at the property you named, RRHA does not manage that location.
Those with complaints about any unit will need to reach out to property managers and/or landlord for repairs.
If the repairs are not corrected in a timely manner, the HCV tenant is encouraged to reach out to the RRHA HCV program to request a special inspection.”City of Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority
Brown says she has already begun her search for a new place to live but wants to make the living situation better for other residents.
“Don’t come in and make a change to cause someone hardship. Don’t do that. That’s not right. Try to understand the community you’re trying to take over,” Brown said.
In terms of rent increases for Housing Choice Voucher residents, RRHA told WFXR News, “The rent increase must be a reasonable amount that is similar to unassisted units in the same neighborhood.”