Tenants protest living conditions at SE Portland apartment complex

PORTLAND, Ore. — A group of tenants marched into the leasing office of their Southeast Portland apartment complex Monday, demanding changes. The group claims the Wimbledon Square and Gardens Apartments on Colt Drive and Southeast 28th Avenue are unsafe and unlivable.

Mold in apartments, garbage on the property, water constantly getting shut off, and construction that makes the building unsafe are on the list of complaints. The group held a protest in the courtyard, hoping to get the attention of their landlord.

People who live at the Wimbledon Square Apartments in SE Portland formed the Wimby Tenants Union & are holding a protest for better living conditions. Tenants say the landlord doesn’t make repairs, their water is shut off constantly, & there are mold problems. pic.twitter.com/31v0WnQAk0

— Lindsay Nadrich (@LindsayNadrich) November 26, 2018

"It’s gone just quicker and quicker downhill,” explained Mercy Strongheart, who has lived in the apartments for about a year. “I’ve had over 30 water outages in my apartment often without notice. I’m a single mom and I’ve come home on school nights with no water for cooking or bathing."

Other tenants said noise from construction at the complex is constant and that it is not being done in a safe way.

"I have to worry about my health, they roped me in and broke all the stairs with no notice,” explained Linzy Querner, who is in the process of moving out because of all the issues. “At my door, I have to walk over broken concrete to leave."

Querner said the construction has blocked her in her apartment at times. While others said they have been denied access to their units for hours on end because of the construction.

"We have no fire exit. It scares me so much to be in there that I’ve had to leave,” Querner explained.

One tenant said he fell through a manhole cover where the concrete is broken.

Others said they have had pipes burst in their apartments and are dealing with mold issues.

This is also the same apartment complex where another man sued Prime Group, the company that owns the apartments, and won after he fell through a second floor walkway and blew out his knee. Jason Kafoury, that tenant’s attorney, is now representing two other people in lawsuits against the company.

“What we learned is that this is the worst building in the city in terms of maintenance and dangerous life safety violations and this building needs to get fixed, and I’m so happy the tenants are organizing to fight back against management,” Jason Kafoury said.

KGW reached out to the apartment complex for comment, but have not heard back.

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