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Latest inspection shows progress on violations at Northland apartment complex

Posted at 10:12 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 23:43:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A second re-inspection by health officials revealed progress in fixing violations uncovered at a Northland apartment complex in Kansas City, Missouri.

City health inspectors returned Monday to the Englewood Apartments, where earlier this month they found 115 violations that included cockroaches, backed-up sewage and mold.

This week's re-inspection at the property in the 5400 block of Northwest Waukomis Drive revealed that the number of units with infractions is down from 33 to 16. It's an improvement from the first re-inspection, which showed few issues were resolved.

The building that was initially vacated due to health hazards still isn't fit for tenants to return, but the sewage back-up inside has been cleaned.

Still, inspectors continued to find cockroaches, mold and missing carbon monoxide detectors in other units.

The Millennia Companies CEO Frank Sinito met Tuesday with Kansas City Health Department officials. During that meeting he committed to fixing the remaining violations and to drafting a long-term corrective action plan.

Environmental Public Health Program Manager Naser Jouhari said he is optimistic Millennia will "do the right thing" based on the meeting and corrections made so far.

The Ohio-based company took ownership of the complex in 2015. A spokeswoman cited rising construction costs, a shortage of tradespeople and uncertainty surrounding tax reform as challenges that slowed the preservation and rehabilitation process nationwide since Millennia acquired the property.

According to the Missouri Housing Development Commission, Englewood was approved in 2018 to receive $7.4 million in federal tax credits over the course of 10 years. That funding is being used for a $10.5 million renovation, which is currently underway.

"We believe that initiatives such as the Healthy Homes program will help to prevent affordable housing developments from deteriorating over decades, and we share in the same goal to provide quality and affordable housing to deserving residents of the community," Millennia spokeswoman Valerie Jerome wrote in a statement to 41 Action News.

The health department will return for a third re-inspection early next week. Occupied units where violations remain may be vacated at that time.

Meanwhile, Millennia continues to incur fees through the Healthy Homes program. Monday's re-inspections cost around $3,000.

Millennia owns four other apartment complexes in Kansas City.

The KCMO Health Department told 41 Action News it has also received a few complaints at those locations, but violations were quickly resolved.