Tenants can finally use at least one of two elevators inside the 15-story Cathay Manor Apartments in Chinatown after what they say has been months of management neglect.
Speaking through a translator, one man said the problems have been going on for months, starting with a laundry room that the 280 residents use. It was locked during a recent visit.
“Management neglects tenants,” said Ne Hom, a resident.
On a recent visit to the decades-old building where rents are subsidized, the exposed wiring on the first floor could be seen. The stairwell lighting was dim, which management claimed were energy efficient lights.
During a phone call, owner Don Toy denied anything the tenants had claimed until NBC4 told him that a reporter and a film crew were on site and witnessed it. Then he claimed he would deal with every problem immediately.
The City of LA this week carried out an emergency repair on one of the elevators, leaving the second to management, risking possible tax privileges.
The office of Los Angeles City Councilor Gil Cedillo said it was told on Aug. 27 that the elevators had not been working for two weeks.
Three days later, construction and security flagged them as unsafe and gave them a red tag. On August 31, a housing inspector sent the management company a notice of compliance within two days.
When they failed to do so, the city turned the case over to the city attorney’s office for investigation.
The city said the building had been placed on “fire watch” by the LA Fire Department, which required property managers to perform security scans every 30 minutes.
It was around this time that tenants say a medical emergency left paramedics carrying an elderly patient seven floors through the stairwell.
“The building received $ 3.5 million per year,” Hom said. “Where is the money going? “
NBC4 couldn’t confirm that figure, but tenants say no matter how much money the building receives, they want answers.
Luis, a maintenance worker, said he asked management for specific repairs and they would not give him the money for it.
“They say they don’t want to spend too much money because of the budget, stuff like that,” he said.