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Neighborhood nuisance: Tenants upset with low-income complex

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:02 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Greenbelt Place on Cherry and Erie is a low-income complex receiving subsidies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). But tenants say the units are barely habitable, and they have nowhere left to turn.

One tenant says her apartment has been flooded for four days. But when 13abc arrived, we found that there are a lot more people with complaints.

“The smell is unbearable. The smell is... you can smell it outside when I open the door,” says Greenbelt Place tenant Emily Lawson.

Lawson’s living room flooded on Sunday leaving a soaked carpet and the suffocating stench of mildew. She lives there with her three children: infant twins and five-year-old Paeton.

“My house is leaking and it won’t stop,” says Paeton.

Lawson says management has promised her a new carpet next week, but after four days, she’s taking matters into her own hands. She’s ripped up her carpet, dragged her ruined furniture to the dumpster and tossed out destroyed baby gear.

“Now that I’ve started to establish something for myself, the little bit of things I do have, I was proud of, because I didn’t have this 5 years ago,” she says.

Lawson wasn’t the only tenant with a story to share. Another resident let us in to see the leaky ceiling, broken light switches, and no smoke detector. That tenant stayed anonymous for fear of being evicted in retaliation.

“People live here. We pay our rent. So why can’t our apartments be up to date?” the anonymous tenant asks.

13abc left messages with Greenbelt’s corporate office in Austin, TX, and with HUD, which subsidizes the rent with taxpayer dollars.

We have not yet received a response, but will update this story if we do. And 13abc will continue to reach out for action.

“I get it that we live in HUD housing, but they don’t have to treat us like that,” says Lawson.

The city of Toledo has a rent escrow program that allows you to pay your rent to the court, and then your landlord only gets the money when the repairs are made. To learn more about the program, visit the court’s website.

Do you have a nuisance in your neighborhood? Reach out to 13abc.

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