GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – As we all brace for the cold temperatures, some families at one Greenville County apartment complex said they’re without heat.
Some residents at Boulder Creek Apartments told 7NEWS their heat isn’t working due to maintenance issues. Some of those folks claim their apartment management hasn’t done a thing about it.
“They need to get out here and fix everybody’s stuff because everybody…we all got small kids,” said Dontasia Brown. “Everybody got kids out here. They are small. We don’t need to be in no cold. Winter cold. We [are] in winter now. Christmas holidays. It’s crazy.”
Some residents said they have been battling the cold with no heat in their homes.
“My friend, right now, is without heat and I told her, I said ‘you can come over and have your baby over here and get warm if you need to for a couple of hours, and then you can go back home’,” said resident Katrina Lamay.
“I mean these houses aren’t up to date at all,” Lamay said. “I was out of heat. I had to literally flip the switch back on to even get my heat. That’s a maintenance protocol, and half of these places don’t have AC’s. They don’t have a fridge; they don’t have stoves working and it’s ridiculous.”
“Every time you put in a work order, they don’t want to come out and fix it, and it’s ridiculous,” Lamay said.
“Just standing in one of the apartments while she was trying to use her oven, to keep her house warm, the O2 sensor went off,” said Ma’Ta Crawford, a community liaison. “That means that carbon dioxide is building up in these apartments, because they don’t have the proper heat. They’re using their stoves.”
That’s what Brown said she had to do.
“I got my one-year-old about to be two in the car right now, and I got an eleven-year-old daughter,” Brown said. “That’s why I don’t try to bring my kids out here, because the heat not working.”
Brown claims the apartment management isn’t fixing the situation.
“I went to the office, and she said that she wrote my name down like they do, and said she was going to put in an order, and I gave them permission to come,” Brown said. “But they ain’t do nothing. I gave them permission to come in, and they ain’t did their job.”
7NEWS took these issues to the leasing office last week. The person working there, didn’t want to talk about it and stated they can’t answer any questions for our story.
It’s the reason why community activists have been out door-to-door giving out heaters.
“So, this started probably about three months ago,” said community activist Bruce Wilson. “It started recently complaints about the heat. Well really, it started with refrigerators and stoves. It went from there to heat.”
“We have young children that their household doesn’t have a refrigerator, or the stove doesn’t work,” Wilson said.
“Now, we’re in these cooler temperatures and we find out that the heat doesn’t work. So, you put all those things together. It doesn’t make for a comfortable child,” said Wilson. “If you can’t feed the child. If you can’t have groceries in your refrigerator, and then you have a child that is cold, and then you deal with a management that is not willing to do anything to try to help the residents other than tell them you’re on your own, and you have to figure out a way to fix it.”
“That’s not the way to handle these residents, and so that’s the reason we’re out here. So, those complaints have been numerous, and that’s the reason we’re like, something needs to be done,” Wilson said.
“What I can’t do is lay in my bed warm at night, and know that there’s a two-month-old over here. There’s a one-month-old over here. This lady has an almost two-year-old, and they’re living out here in these conditions, and they’re trying to keep their families warm,” Crawford said.
Wilson said they’ve given out heaters to about 45 to 50 units.
“What we’re finding is that it’s in pockets. It’s not every unit, but it is in every section,” Wilson said.
Wilson said only one apartment has gas off due to maintenance, he said others are out due to complex maintenance issues.
With temperatures expected to be below freezing in the Upstate, residents and activists have one request.
“I hope they do their job and get the heat working for all of us and our families and them kids,” Brown said.
“Fix the apartment complex. Make sure that these children have heat. Make sure that these children have a refrigerator and a stove,” Wilson said. “I don’t think that’s too much to ask. “In fact, it’s required by law to have those things. I’m just asking them to do what’s right. I’m asking them to do this apartment complex as though they live out here.”
“These places aren’t up to code. They really need to like shut it down, and rebuild,” Lamay said.