East Austin apartment complex residents tired of waiting after having no gas or heat for more than a week

Gas lines were disconnected and capped Tuesday morning at the Springdale Gardens apartment complex in East Austin. They're being prepared for a critical systemwide leak test.

"Check every valve to make sure there are no leaks,” said complex maintenance director Jose Jamies, who believes they are close to addressing Austin Code violation notices that were posted.

Olivia Guerrero, who is among the 400 residents at the complex, said the past several days have not been easy.

"Rough, rough. Cold, we have no heater. We don’t have hot water, we can’t take a bath,” said Guerrero.

To get a hot shower, they have few options: share the showers in one of two units that still have heat, or go to Givens Park and use the showers at the rec center. Guerrero said she refused to use the rec center because of safety concerns.


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Her friend Victoria Garcia had another reason. "I'm disabled, I can’t take a bath just anywhere, I need a chair to take a bath,” said Garcia.

At the manager’s office, Linda Lee, a supervisor for the ownership group, said gas could be flowing again by Wednesday afternoon.

"We are doing everything we can, I understand it’s frustrating but when it comes to procedures, especially with the city, we have to make sure we are doing everything for the safety of our residents,” said Lee.

Putting people up in a hotel was not originally done, but is now part of the contingency plan if the pressure test reveals more leaks. “Well, that will be our next step,” said Lee.

It’s taken more than a week to repair the gas line that feeds for the complex. Some residents got electrical space heaters and electric blankets to stay warm. Electric burners to cook on were also provided.

"Yeah, but they really don’t do nothing, I mean look at the unit, you got one bedroom, you've got the living room, a kitchen, and it really don't help. So what’s the point of having it,” said Joe Valles.

Property managers have provided evening meals for residents, but even that has been criticized for not being done right.

"I now the first time they came they did it, we had them go to McDonald's. and then the next time we brought chicken out here. And so yesterday it was McDonald's, again. I know some tenants feel may feel like it’s inconvenient, but we are trying to make sure they are fed,” said Lee. 

Pizzas were being brought in for Tuesday night dinner.

A statement from Austin Code was sent to FOX7. City officials said the property manager has responded properly so far and code inspectors will continue to do follow up inspections to ensure compliance.