Niles officials explain delays for fixing apartment elevator

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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NILES, Mich. (WNDU) - The City of Niles is speaking out after the elevator at the Niles Housing Commission hasn’t been working in several months. 16 News Now first reported the issue last month, when the family of a 75-year-old resident said their mom has been mostly confined to her room because her motorized scooter easily fit in the elevator that has been broken since January.

The Niles Community Development Department said they are working with an elevator consulting firm on a RFP - request for proposal, which is being reviewed by an attorney. The goal is for the RFP to be issued in the next couple weeks. Several contractors are ready to bid within the next 30 to 45 days on the project at the public housing complex.

The city says the timeline of securing at least $500,000 in federal funding from HUD isn’t yet known nor is the exact date of repairing the elevator - which is quite old and needs to be modernized. A community development official says it’s hard to find the right parts to fix it.

In an e-mail 16 News Now obtained from viewer Sara Orpurt, the City of Niles, in part, says, “While it may seem like nothing is happening, there is a lot of working going on in the background...” and that.... “notices have been sent to all residents about the issues and the process. And we hold meetings every month about our regular board meetings at which we provide an update - the notices to these board meetings are publicly posted throughout the building and indicate we will be discussing the elevator.”

The city previously told 16 News Now the current working elevator, while it may be a tight fit, does fit wheelchairs, making it ADA-compliant.

The Niles Community Development Department said they still want people reaching out to them regarding accommodations for the broken elevator.

The HUD field office for Michigan told 16 News Now the question about the elevator repair has been sent to the appropriate program area and that a response should be sent shortly.

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