Little Havana - Flagami

Elderly residents demand fixes at their housing complex

<cutline_leadin><137>Aracelys Milian <137></cutline_leadin><137>y María Campos, de la asociación de residentes de Robert King High Towers, convocaron una rueda de prensa luego de reunirse con las resspectivas autoridades condales.<137><137><252><137>Aracelys Milian and María Campos, of the Association of Neighbors of Robert King High Towers, complain about persistent problems at the Little Havana public housing complex for the elderly. They met with the director of the Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development Department who promised to resolve the issues.
<cutline_leadin><137>Aracelys Milian <137></cutline_leadin><137>y María Campos, de la asociación de residentes de Robert King High Towers, convocaron una rueda de prensa luego de reunirse con las resspectivas autoridades condales.<137><137><252><137>Aracelys Milian and María Campos, of the Association of Neighbors of Robert King High Towers, complain about persistent problems at the Little Havana public housing complex for the elderly. They met with the director of the Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development Department who promised to resolve the issues. el Nuevo Herald

Garbage piles up, AC units break down, an elevator stops working, and several residents complain that there’s not enough security on the premises. There’s little control over who goes in and out of the buildings.

But for most of the tenants, complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

“It’s a disaster,” said Maria Campos, president of the Association of Neighbors of Robert King High Towers.

Recently, garbage was not picked up for five days, presumably due to a conflict with the company in charge of collecting the garbage. The containers of garbage and waste overflowed. Community blogger Al Crespo, from crespogram.com, was the first to report the problem.

Michael Liu, the new director of the Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development Department, met with tenants for about three hours last week and promised to fix the problems. Liu said many of the complaints are valid.

“The residents detailed several problems with which I agree, and they understood that our department also has limitations,” Liu said. “We’re working to recognize that we need to act and not leave things for another day.”

Among the problems that need immediate attention: regularly-scheduled garbage pick ups, maintenance of common areas and limiting parking spaces to residents.

Many residents at Robert King High Towers in the 1400 block of Northwest Seventh Street and nearby Haley Sofge Towers in the 700 block of Northwest 13th Avenue, said the problems have persisted for too long.

Haley Sofge Towers resident Ileana Arriola, founder of Save Our Seniors (S.O.S), a non-profit organization, said she’s made several complaints about the damaged elevator and suggested that the solution might be to install a new one.

“An elderly lady fell in that elevator and she’s in a rehabilitation center right now recuperating,” Arriola said.

Blanca Yero showed a cut on her right thumb and said she got when she was trying to open the metal latch on the door of the garbage deposit. According to several residents, the hook on the door broke more than 20 days ago.

“People started leaving their garbage outside because it was hard to open the door since it was broken and all the waste started to accumulate,” said Yero.

Several residents said that after Crespo, the blogger, documented the accumulation of waste with his camera, county employees arrived to clean the area.

Residents also complained that recreational areas at the complex have a very limited schedule.

When Arriola and a group of neighbors tried to use the community room to celebrate an end of the year party, the administrators said that they couldn’t open it until after five o’ clock.

“We had to have our party in the hallway,” said Arriola.

Other residents complained that closing common areas at 5 p.m. limits their time to play dominoes, which has been noted as the only entertainment for most of the residents.

Liu said he is considering changes to extend the schedule for common areas.

“We understand that life doesn’t end at 5 p.m.,” said Liu.

Despite the long list of complaints and problems, some of the residents are hopeful the issues will be resolved.

“There are problems here like in all places, but they’re going to come quickly and solve them,” said Jose Antonio Lopez.

Follow Brenda Medina on Twitter @BrendaMedina

  Comments