AUSTIN, Texas - Residents at the Mueller Flats Apartments are facing mandatory evictions.
Alyssa Higgins said she experienced damage from the winter storm in February, but management never repaired her apartment. Now, nearly four months later, she said she is being told she has to move out.
"I was worried all weekend about how I’m gonna move," Higgins said.
Management is giving her seven days to move. She said she’s worried she won’t be able to find a place to live in that period. "I feel like I’ve been treated like I'm nothing to them," she said.
The damage in her apartment is in one bedroom. The carpet needs to be replaced and part of the wall needs to be repaired. Higgins lives in a two-bedroom and said that the repairs can be done without her needing to move out.
"It’s only one bedroom that y’all (management) are kicking me out to fix, that’s crazy," she said. "If they can just come and fix the small damage to the first bedroom, everything would be fine"
She added management has refused to move her into open units on-site or into any of their sister properties. "My building has openings they can move me into," she said. "But they just want to let me go."
Colby Green, another Mueller Flats resident who received a notice to leave, says he doesn't plan to leave Friday.
""It’s just a lot of chaos going on in these apartments," Green said who shared that his initial reaction was "I’m like man, I got two kids and a wife, we were going to go stay in a hotel for a month."
He lives with his wife and two kids and right now he and his wife are still sleeping in the living room because their bedroom is torn up.
"We’re hanging tight hoping no one comes in and tries and change the locks on us or throw our stuff out," Green said.
Austin City Council member for District 4 Greg Casar has been working with residents and the Mueller Flats Apartments to try and get these issues resolved.
"They’ve had months," he said. "You’ve seen so many other apartment complexes across the city get repaired and get fixed quickly and there is no good reason that tenants in this situation should still be stuck."
He said any resident who wants to stay in their apartment should be allowed and that management should work to get those repairs fixed.
"I don't think it's right for anybody to be thrown out," he said, "They need to be accommodated by that property owner who they're paying rent to and have their apartments fixed."
Higgins said management isn’t doing anything to help, instead, she said she believes they want all the old residents out so they can bring new residents in. "They said forget about us… kick em out," she said.
Green had a request for management. "Just come fix the stuff, at least address it and don’t have us in la la land trying to figure out what do we do next."
Casar adds the complex’s main priority should be the tenants.
"They should be more worried about their tenants, health, and safety than just their bottom line," Casar said. "The fact of the matter is if they continue to flout city rules on health and safety, eventually the city could ban them from renting additional units."
According to the Austin Code Department, there are currently 94 cases that are active and ongoing. 42 cases have been closed and nine citations have been issued to the complex.
The Mueller Flats Apartments provided this statement to FOX 7 Austin:
"The City of Austin’s gross negligence and willful actions during the storm in February 2021 has caused tremendous damage and hardship to all the residents of Mueller Flats. The management team has been actively working to rectify the situation caused by the City and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars thus far to do so. We appreciate everyone’s patience as the continued struggles have been felt by everyone and there are dozens of people on site every day to make repairs. We are moving at the very fastest pace that we can, with much of the delay based on the magnitude of the problems involved and the backlog of cases from our contractors who are working to fix each and every issue."