Several residents opened their doors to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution during a Thursday visit to the property. On a day when temperatures reached over 90 degrees, conditions inside the complex included soaked carpets from water dripping off ceilings and air conditioning units that residents say have been inoperable for months.
Labarron Perkins was sitting in his car around noon Thursday. The resident said his air conditioner has been broken for weeks and he often sits in his car to cool off.
A bedroom door was off its hinges in Shanika Wright’s apartment. Water from a leaky air conditioning unit appeared to have spread, soaking the entire floor of her daughter’s bedroom. Her downstairs neighbor, Janie Penny, has a sizeable hole opening in the ceiling of her apartment, apparently caused by the leak.
“I’m a supervisor in the housekeeping department of a hospital,” Wright said. “I don’t have a problem with paying (rent) but you’ve got to explain what I’m paying for at this point. Because I feel like you want me to pay to live like an animal.”
Residents said they pay from $500 to over $900 a month in rent.
Several large potholes at the property make driving through the massive apartment complex arduous. And walking at night can dangerous, residents said, because there is little lighting provided outside.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many apartments are occupied inside the sprawling complex, which was built in the 70s, but it has over 17 buildings.
Residents said the community is managed by Meridian Management Group of Norcross. Residents said they’re unsure who owns the complex now. The AJC was turned away when visiting the management office and a security guard inside threatened to call the police when a reporter asked to speak to the manager.
But on the same day, management had initiated repair work in Angela McCoy’s apartment. Workers from Sung Contracting Group arrived to make repairs without McCoy’s knowledge, she said.
McCoy said her apartment is so severely damaged that she’s been unable to continue living in the unit. She’s been staying with her mother and friends, she said.
She shared video of water running out of a gaping hole in her bedroom ceiling the day before the contractors arrived, she said. The AJC also saw water falling from a closet ceiling.
“This has been going on since January,” McCoy said of the damage in her apartment. “The whole time I made complaints, nobody came.”