Tenants: Elevator broken for 5 weeks at South Bend senior living complex

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 5:34 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Tenants at a South Bend senior citizen apartment complex are asking for clarity and accountability after they said their only elevator has been broken for five weeks.

“If you tell them about it, they don’t care. They just want their rent money,” said resident Earl Campbell, who recently had open heart surgery and needs an elevator.

Campbell feels ignored by the property management group and so does fellow resident Danny Palmer.

“[When I get my groceries], I gotta go right back down and do the same thing over again,” explained Palmer.

Maurice Campbell is frustrated for his mother, who’s on the 4th floor of the subsidized housing complex.

“She is on oxygen. So if she has a fire, it’s already a risk already, she’s gotta go down with her oxygen,” stated Maurice Campbell.

And the one time she tried using the stairs in the past month, Marsha Campbell says that was her last.

“I was just concerned on the outcome on me living,” said Marsha Campbell. “I want to be around a little longer for my grandkids, you know?”

Residents provided WNDU with a paper from apartment management dated last Friday that asks tenants to schedule help during business hours for getting items up and down their units.

“Think about your mother. Think about your grandparents, think about your aunts and your uncles... and think about them being in such a situation. And then you can kind of understand how many of these folks feel it’s unfair. It really is unfair,” lamented Henry Davis, Jr., member of the South Bend Common Council.

Davis, Jr. said he’s contacted Sterling - the property management company, along with South Bend Code Enforcement, the St. Joseph County Building Department, in addition to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

On Monday, Sterling released a statement:

“We are concerned alongside the residents here at Lasalle and welcome the attention to this supply chain and production issue. We are assisting residents with any reasonable accommodations. Our facilities and management teams are not sitting idle while we wait for parts and are collectively seeking alternate solutions through various elevator companies and the manufacturer. This is a top priority for Sterling Group.”

Based on answers Davis, Jr. and Sterling separately received, it appears the elevator won’t be repaired until a month from now.

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