HOUSTON – On Wednesday, dozens of residents at the Sterlingshire Apartments in northeast Houston were served a hot meal thanks to an organization called ‘Hoodies 4 Healing.’
“I have six kids, so it means a lot because we have actually been going through a lot in the last couple of years,” resident Veronica Newton said.
Since last week, KPRC 2 has been talking to residents about the ongoing problems with mold, rats, roaches, and faulty appliances at the complex.
Resident Eva Wheeler says it’s horrible.
“I have no A/C. They gave me an A/C unit, but they took it back,” she said. “For two days, I have been without power to the right side of my house which is where my kitchen and refrigerator. I’ve lost food.”
Their living conditions have promoted city leaders, activists, and groups like the Rainbow Coalition to address the problems and find a solution.
“We want to make sure that these families are being done right,” Dr. Candice Matthews with Rainbow Push Coalition said.
On Wednesday, workers from the city’s public works department were on site walking through units.
One spokesperson said,
“The property owner is taking appropriate steps to meet compliance by acquiring Plumbing and Electrical permits to make immediate repairs. They have applied for a Structural permit to address additional issues. The property owner fixed the heat & gas concerns, as well as installing new air conditioning and hot water heaters. Interior inspections are ongoing to assess violations within the units. The City will continue to work with the property owner to bring the Sterlingshire Apartments into compliance with City code.”
Representatives for The Department of Housing and Urban Development were also on-site, and say they found deficiencies at the complex.
“We’ve seen a spectrum. We have seen some units in good condition, and we have seen some units that are livable, but deficiencies will have to be corrected. We have seen some units that require immediate relocation,” said Michael Cummings with the Southwest Housing Compliance Corporation.
Residents say they’re glad someone is helping.
“It’s been more help than we been getting,” Newton said.
The Houston Health Department provided the following statement:
“The inspectors found some signs of water leak issues in the apartments they were allowed into by the residents. HHD is working on a follow-up visit with the complex management and the tenants to confirm the issues and request repairs. The department continues to monitor and service 311 complaints from Sterlingshire as soon as they are reported.”
An organization called Launch Point was also on-site talking to residents. A spokesperson says they are working to help residents find a new apartment or hotel.