Family of eight waited weeks for a working refrigerator, several other repairs

Melissa Blasius
5 Min Read

PHOENIX, AZ — A family of eight, whose sober living home was shut down last year, found themselves with a second housing crisis this spring when they were having trouble getting repairs made at their government-subsidized apartment.

Kendra Moses and Alex Hopkins told ABC15 that their dishwasher, refrigerator, dryer, one of their toilets, and several lights and switches were inoperable when they moved into the unit at City Place apartments in Phoenix in January. Six weeks later, the couple living with six kids near 32nd and Van Buren streets said they had tried to get things fixed for six weeks without much success.

The last year has been full of housing upheaval as they moved to Phoenix for sober living the company that operated their home in October was shut down with nearly no warning as part of a massive AHCCCS fraud investigation.

After living in a motel for weeks, the family was able to move into City Place using the City of Phoenix’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, formally known as Section 8. Celtic Property Management, which operates City Place, and the City Housing Department told ABC15 the family’s apartment passed the HUD-required, pre-move-in inspection for government-subsidized apartments.

But Moses said she noticed broken stuff from day one and she marked 22 items needing repair on her move-in checklist dated January 31st.

“It kind of put a weight on my shoulders,” Moses said. She added an apartment complex employee said, “Once we turn this in, then it will get fixed.”

Lara Cerri has been advocating for the family. She shared an email to Celtic on March 13 about Moses’ ongoing maintenance problems. After five more days and still no repairs, Lara called the ABC15 Investigators.

“I don’t know where the accountability is,” Cerri said. ” I might not be able to change the system, but maybe we can help one family navigate their way through it.”

Cerri also called the city of Phoenix, and a Neighborhood Services Department inspector came out. He issued a Notice of Ordinance Violation, which required repairs in the unit by April 2, or City Place could be cited and fined.

ABC15 reached out to the head of Celtic Property Management, who emailed back saying, “Celtic prides itself on being an industry leader” and “promotes the wellness and comfort of residents beyond just what is required.” They added, “Upon seeing your correspondence Celtic’s corporate maintenance team was dispatched to do a follow-up inspection on the unit; it was documented all reported repairs had been completed.”

Moses says there’s been a lot of progress since the city and ABC15 got involved.

New appliances and a new toilet were installed, and electrical repairs were completed. Although Moses says she’s still missing some knobs for interior doors, a cover for her kitchen light, cabinet drawers,

The replacement dryer still isn’t working right, so she’s still hanging her clothes outside.

The Neighborhood Services Department told ABC15 that City Place has met the requirements for repairs and ordering items for future repairs to the apartment. According to an NSD spokesperson, the apartment where Moses and her family live is no longer in violation of city ordinances.

Now that Moses has most items fixed, she can concentrate more on quality time with her kids and continuing life in sobriety

“I want good for my kids, and I’m trying, I’m doing my end,” Moses said.

The ABC15 Investigators are still looking into how the Phoenix Housing Department’s pre-move-in HUD inspection came back clean, but Moses and her advocate discovered so many things were broken just after occupancy.

You can reach ABC15 Senior Investigator Melissa Blasius by email at [email protected] or call 602-803-2506. Follow her on X (formerly Twitter) @MelissaBlasius and Facebook.

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Melissa Blasius ,
Local News , 2024-04-04 02:51:30

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