Severe living conditions at North Austin apartment complex, residents say
AUSTIN, Texas - Residents of a North Austin apartment complex held a press conference on Wednesday to raise awareness of issues they say they’ve been dealing with since Winter Storm Uri, or longer.
"I've been here 10 years," said Stephen Frischmuth. "Code enforcement has been here for 10 years."
Tenants at the Creek’s Edge Apartments took turns sharing their stories.
"They're always coming after us for fees, fines and violations on our side, but they let us go a month without hot water," said Frischmuth. "They let us live with bugs, they do all these other things, and they do it with impunity."
Residents said sometimes they didn’t have water at all, and when hot water has come back on, often it’s either too hot or not up to standard. Frischmuth said one time the apartment brought in temporary showers and put them on the tennis courts.
Residents also said that the laundry machines are always broken and there is an overall lack of, or mediocre, response to maintenance requests.
"We were just kind of putting up with it but in the past month, it got to a point where we can't really tolerate this anymore," said Ella Stewart, who moved in with her husband in January 2022. "I actually just took a shower and had to boil the water to wash my hair and everything."
Residents at Creek’s Edge Apartments shared their stories on living conditions since Winter Storm Uri.
According to the Austin Code Department website, there have been 25 complaints reported regarding the Creek’s Edge Apartments in just the last six months.
The complex has been on Austin Code’s list of Repeat Offenders since 2014 with more than 900 total violations listed.
The Creek’s Edge Apartments are currently managed by GVA Real Estate Group, but the complex has undergone several changes in ownership.
"One thing that has stayed constant is the substandard living conditions that they have to deal with on a daily basis," said Gabby Garcia, a tenant organizer with BASTA, a nonprofit that works with renters throughout Austin.
Tenants asked on Wednesday that Austin Code refer the case to the Building and Standards Commission for further action and that the complex is stopped from renting out empty units.
"We're just hoping that things improve," said Stewart. "It was hard enough to find a place to live in Austin that was affordable enough for us in the first place, so having to go through that process again would be difficult."
FOX 7 reached out to the property management company and is waiting to hear back.