Dozens of apt. residents in danger of losing homes

OGONTZ - August 24, 2010

L&I issued a cease operation order overnight after inspecting the building that houses the Granada Apartments in the 6100 block of North 17th Street. Residents say their landlord has neglected to address numerous problems.

The building's central fire system doesn't work - a serious safety risk. Garbage is piling up everywhere, inside and out. The walls are filled with gaping holes. The mail is piling up as bills go unpaid.

Granada resident Eugene Prince says, "Tenants complaining about leaky faucets and things of that sort. Everything that's supposed to be done by management. And he's not doing any repairs at all. Period."

Tenants understand there are big problems but they have no idea where they will go if they must leave. A clearly frustrated Kisha McHenry told us, "I understand they're doing their job, but we live here. This is our building. We live here."

Residents say a man named David Pollack owns the building and collects their rent, but they can't reach him. They tell us he only returns to collect rent or to force tenants to pay late fees they cannot afford.

Action News was also unable to reach him on Tuesday. The phone number posted outside the building is no longer in service.

The rental office is a total mess. Records, including social security numbers, have disappeared. City records show the landlord's license to operate the building expired in February 2009.

McHenry says, "People [are] paying, like, 700-800 dollars a month. And nobody have nowhere to go… Nobody."

Despite the cease operations order issued by L&I, residents have, so far, been allowed to stay.

However, by Tuesday evening, some residents could be seen moving out.

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