Changes are coming to a Savannah apartment complex where city and county leaders have called the conditions “deplorable.”
After seeing coverage of the conditions on WSAV, PK Management, the company that runs the Westlake Apartments, sent two members of their management team down from Ohio to see the issues for themselves.
Now they’re promising to fix the mess and many of the tenants tell us they’re hopeful things will actually get better.
“I’m happy that they’re here but I’ll be more happy if I see results,” said tenant Charita Downing. “This is not a new issue, this is actually an issue that has been occurring and it’s just time that we put a plan in action and we ge this issue taken care of.”
Downing grew up in the complex and now lives there with her husband and 4-month-old son.
She showed our cameras termite damage, spider infestations in her cabinets and mold in her bathroom – similar complaints were made by several other neighbors.
“We wanted to meet with the residents, we wanted to hear some of their concerns,” said PK Management VP of Community Development Joyce Walker. “All we ever wanted to do or want to do or want to continue to do, make sure our properties are something that we’re very proud of.”
Walker tells News 3 they aren’t putting a timeline on the work until they see everything that needs to be done.
We will continue to follow this story as they move forward with those plans, stay with WSAV for the latest updates.
In a statement sent to News 3 by the Westlake Apartments property management company, PK Management, said:
“PK Management is committed to ensuring that all of our apartment homes are maintained at the highest quality and safety level in the industry.
Unfortunately, we experienced water damage in one of our units at Westlake Apartments yesterday (Monday). We are actively and aggressively investigating the cause of this incident and still assessing the resulting damages.
We have corrected the problem that caused the inadvertent disruption with our after-hours emergency response call line.
Our displaced resident has been moved to another unit at Westlake Apartments at our expense.”
The company tells us after seeing the video and pictures from our investigation, they have decided to come down to Savannah to see the issues for themselves.
A Savannah family was forced out of their home in the Westlake Apartments Monday as it flooded with water for more than six hours.
Tiarra Williams called WSAV after trying, unsuccessfully, to get help.
“I’ve been telling them that my toilet was running for about two months. They still haven’t come and done anything about it,” said Williams. “Then this morning it started leaking real bad, real bad.”
Before contacting News 3, Williams and her neighbors called anyone they could think of; they tried the apartment complex’s management company, PK Management, but couldn’t get an answer. They called 911, but were told it wasn’t an emergency. They even tried calling the city of Savannah but were told no one could help.
When our crews arrived on scene they found water coming from the apartment flowing out into the street.
They attempted to call the management company but were also forwarded to a voicemail; the same happened when they tried calling several other emergency contacts.
Finally, Alderman Dr. Estella Shabazz and County Commissioner Yusuf Shabazz answered a call and came out to see if they could help.
“My first reaction was, ‘Oh my God, what’s happening out here?'” said the commissioner.
“These mothers and children, with infant babies, in this apartment complex, even the furniture is filled with water, their clothes are drenched with water,” added the alderman.
After wading in ankle deep water to turn it off himself, the commissioner toured several of the other units with frustrated residents – who showed him termite damage, spider infestations, holes in walls, and more.
He called the conditions “deplorable.”
“I plan to have a meeting with the county manager in the morning as well as the health department and other county agencies that could, perhaps, help with this or put pressure on this owner,” he said. “Sometimes you have to put pressure to make people be responsible to what they need to do.”
We did reach out to PK Management several times for a comment, but still have not received a response back to that request.
Williams and her family arranged to stay in a hotel for a couple of nights, but will be spending more than $150 out of their own pockets to do so.
We will continue to follow this story as it develops, stay with News 3 for the latest.