Wendy Moss recalls the day she moved to her new apartment following the flood of 2016.
In July 2017, she moved into The Crossing Apartment Complex on Buddy Ellis Road, Denham Springs with her children – a 15 year old and a nine-year old. She said that the family lived in a local hotel before it moved.
She said, “When we moved in, The Crossing was an amazing, clean apartment.” This was a nice change after living in a small hotel room for almost a year.
Moss stated that the tenants have been negatively affected by the “slow decline” in the quality of their property. This has continued even today, from pest control to maintenance.
She spoke of raw sewage flowing into the drains and pooling there, the grass being left uncut weeks on end, the lack of functioning cameras, the poor lighting, and the increase in vandalism and crime.
She said, “We live with grease traps in our sinks and toilets as well as sewage backups.” They often flood on the carpet, which many tenants must clean at their expense.
Moss addressed a Livingston Parish Council Meeting in her own name and on behalf of other complex residents who said that the living conditions had become unbearable. The residents present at the meeting, including Moss herself, asked the council to hold The Crossing’s owners accountable.
Moss stated that tenants are experiencing a lot of emotional distress. Our complex is a disgrace.
Judy Pope, Vice President of CST Multifamily Group said in a recent statement that the company was “fully committed” to dealing with each resident issue. Some of the issues have been addressed, including the removal of trash and the implementation of special pest control.
She added: “CST Multifamily Group will also work closely with the Parish Council in order to resolve each resident complaint.” All contractors and subcontractors were paid in full.
Christopher Moody proposed, after Moss’s testimony, that the Parish Council pass a Resolution asking the administration of the parish to enforce the law and authorizing him to send a letter demanding the owners correct the issue.
We’re going to look at it very closely. Moody stated during the meeting that we want to assist these people. I wanted to have a vote by the council so that we could get some authority. Let’s start by writing a formal letter.
It was unanimously passed.
Moss, in her testimony, described the alleged neglect of maintenance and pest control. She said that the parking lot of the complex was flooded with trash and that bins weren’t emptied regularly. She said that furniture accumulated in the parking lot and some residents brought the items inside their apartments, resulting in an infestation with bedbugs.
She said, “Preventative maintenance is not possible at our apartment complex.” We have to buy our own over-the-counter pest control products to keep bedbugs and roaches away.
Moss added that she is particularly concerned about mold and mildew in nearly every apartment. Moss said her 15-year old daughter has special needs, including high-functioning autism and ADHD. She also had respiratory problems.
The air conditioner filters are never changed and leaks cause plasterboard to be damaged by mold. The woman said she had to pay out of pocket to repair her AC after no one responded to her call. This added to her financial woes.
Moss stated that in many cases, mold had been painted over. When new tenants move into the unit, they only smell fresh paint. After a few weeks, they will start to smell it and see the mold.
She claimed that the management has ignored her complaints. Moss stated that the quality of the apartment complex had declined, and more are now vacant.
She said, “They were the fortunate ones who had extra money to spend and found a place in their budget bracket.” Most of the tenants are Section 8 tenants or low-income renters who are unable to find another place and aren’t being helped in moving at all.
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