7 on Your Side: No air-conditioning, Longview apartment tenants suffering

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - With the summer heat in East Texas, air conditioners are already pulling duty. But, one Longview apartment section is sweltering in the heat.

At the Village South Apartments on South Green Street, cool air has stopped blowing in dozens of units. When tenants could not get help on their own, they called "7 on Your Side." After investigating, we found the owner is now trying to make things right.

But, residents who live at Village South Apartments say they have been through it before - summer heat and no working air-conditioning.

"[It's] like living in an oven every day and every night," said Lilly and Robert Glasper.

The air inside their apartments is sweltering.

"It's kind of difficult for me because I have asthma and spasmotic bronchitis, and a breathing machine is use because if I get real hot, I can't breathe," said Rodney Dobbins.

"It's real hot in there," said Kim Keller, a resident. "It's like 100 degrees in there. It's real hot."

We contacted the owner in California who said the old air unit is a recurring problem.

"It's not a perfect system," said James Engel, with Golden Estate Management, Inc. "It's an older building, but every year during this month this does happen."

Many have taken to buying fans or their own window units to stay cool.

"Elderly people like me need some air, and if that's the only way they can get it is buying a unit and putting in their window, I think they out to have it," said Lilly Glasper.

But, some can not afford it and simply sleep with the doors and windows open.

"My main objective is for the elderly people," said Timothy Sherman. "They're out here and they're suffering and a lot of people are on fixed incomes...There's a lady back there she is bedridden. She couldn't come and that's the hardest thing."

The city has no ordinance that requires apartments to have working air conditioning, but tenants say they will do what they have to, to stay cool.

"He come take my air conditioner out," said Sherma. "I'm not taking mine out I'm sorry."

We talked with the property owner. He says he will have a maintenance team at the complex Saturday to work on the air-conditioning units. If it can't be fixed immediately, he says every tenant will be given a fan to keep cool until the air is fixed.

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