Tenants of 'deteriorating' Richmond apartment building hold rally: 'We are not going to stand for it'

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Posted at 4:23 PM, Sep 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-08 16:23:56-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- As the voice of her community, Chantay Washington-Williams refused to sit silently after she spoke at a rally Monday evening at the Red Oak Apartments in Richmond.

Located on Chamberlayne Avenue, the rally was held by the Chamberlayne Tenants Council.

"I’ve been here since 2016... and we are having this rally to let Red Oaks know that we are not going to stand for it," Williams said.

Residents said they decided to hold a rally as they are desperate for a change.

For years she said they’ve been dealing with different issues in their apartments including broken air conditioning units, deteriorating doors, and issues with trash pickup.

Williams claims they have received very little response from management on when these things will be fixed.

"If you don't do nothing about it, they will continue to run over you," she said.

The Richmond Tenants' Union and Richmond Tenants Defense Council have also gotten involved.

"By bringing a lot of people out and showing how dissatisfied both tenants and people from the community at large... We hope that we can get at least a response from this landlord to address the concerns," said Alex Sparow with the Richmond Tenants Union.

The Richmond Tenants Defense Council said a campaign was organized this summer to mitigate some of the primary utility issues Red Oak apartments are having.

Ryan Jackson with RTDC said they used donations and organization funds to purchase box A.C. units for residents this summer.

"He’s a tenant leader from CTC, he hasn’t had central A.C. in two years, so a lot of these tenants are old, they’re coming home from work and they’re suffering in their own homes," Jackson explained.

Williams said she and many of her neighbors feel they deserve better treatment, especially at a time when they say rent is increasing.

"It frustrates me.. his whole window is molded, he has a big hole by the light fixture," she said describing a neighbor's apartment. "My rent was $575, as of May I’m paying $835," explained Williams.

She said all they want is to come home and live in a place that is healthy and safe. "Come out and inspect your building, you personally and see what we are going through and why we are frustrated," Williams said.

She encourages anyone else who is having similar problems to come to their council meetings.

"Come and voice your opinion, give us you’re helping hand to get these people straight," she said.

CBS 6 did reach out to Ginter Park LLC, the owners of Red Oak Apartments and was told they have no comment. We also left a message for the chief operating officer and have not heard back yet.

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