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Health department re-inspection uncovers more issues at Englewood Apartments

Englewood Apartments-1
Posted at 10:04 PM, Sep 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 23:20:35-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Health department inspectors discovered that as of Monday, many of the 115 violations found last week at Englewood Apartments have still not been corrected.

While conducting a re-inspection, staff found mold, water leaks and cockroaches in units at the troubled apartment complex.

"I could not believe that was here in Kansas City. I couldn't believe anyone would allow people to live in a facility like that," Councilman Dan Fowler said of the violations he witnessed at the apartments.

Inspectors were able to reinspect 18 of the 33 units originally examined. Of the units inspected Monday, only one had all of its violations corrected.

While on site, inspectors also initiated three new complaint investigations. Those investigations found 10 additional violations, including missing carbon monoxide detectors and a furnace exhaust that was incorrectly connected.

A spokeswoman for The Millenia Companies, which owns the complex, said it is "working dilligently" to resolve the issues cited during inspections.

"We will continue to work collaboratively with the Health Department and the City to meet the requirements that are newly applicable to Englewood Apartments under the updated Healthy Homes Ordinance," Valerie Jerome of Millenia wrote in an email to 41 Action News.

Jerome pointed out the company is currently working on a $10.5 million rehabilitation of the complex, with the first renovated building expected to be completed in the next few weeks. The project includes new kitchens, bathrooms and finishes in units, updates to interiors and exteriors of buildings, a new community building and a new playground.

"The construction project addresses structural, systemic and functional deficiencies that have developed over time," Jerome said. "The scope of work approximates $77,000 per apartment and incorporates high-quality materials and energy-efficient products that will result in durable, sustainable and attractive housing that we hope the residents and community will embrace and find uplifting."

41 Action News first reported on tenants' issues at Englewood Apartments last year. The complex has been on Councilman Fowler's radar for a long time.

"I was afraid they were going to do exactly what they did, and that was to start renovations on these and let the rest of the place go," Fowler said.

The city is intervening now, thanks to a recent city council vote that expanded the Healthy Homes ordinance to include properties subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The health department will return for another inspection in five days. Fowler wants residents to know the city will not leave them behind.

"We're gonna keep coming back until they're fixed. We're going to use every tool in our toolbox to make sure they're fixed and to hold this management accountable for what they're doing," he said.

Monday's inspections cost Millenia $1,850. Future re-inspections will also carry a fee of $150 for the first unit and $100 for each one after that.