Judge orders third party to take over troubled low income apartments

Judge orders third party to take over troubled low income apartments
(FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham)
(FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham)

AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) - After a roof collapse forced people out of their Avondale apartment building in November of last year, residents are celebrating a victory Friday.

The collapse revealed scores of health and safety violations.

Hamilton County judge Beth Meyers ordered the low-income apartment and other properties to be turned over to somebody else.

The court heard a lot of testimony, both for and against turning over five apartment complexes to a receiver.

Judge Beth Meyers has already declared those five apartment complexes, owned by a New Jersey family, to be public nuisances and now she says those properties need to be managed by someone else.

[Related: Judge could declare low income apartments a public nuisance]

"I do find that a receiver should be appointed. The next question is who should that be," Meyers said.

If U.S. Bank and Wilmington Trust, the mortgage holders, have their way, the properties will be turned over to Indianapolis-based management company Millhaus.

But whoever takes over, residents of the Burton Apartments say they're relieved.

"It makes it a little easier for everybody to know that it will be somebody coming it and to take care of all the problems we have here in the building," Michael Pinkston, Burton Avenue apartment resident.

Problems that have led to more than 1,800 violations issued by the city including a collapsed roof.  Problems, resident Connie Hampton says still exist.

"The walls still ruined, the ceiling still leaks, you know so we still living in - our floors have no tiles on them," Hampton said.

Just a half mile away at the Entowne Manor Apartments, a resident who identified himself only as Mr. Smith said the building is falling apart and that attracts trouble.

"The people in the hallway all night, sleeping under the stairs. It's just things that I've never experienced in my life," Mr. Smith said.

Christopher Cathey, an attorney representing the mortgage companies, said his clients are asking that Jodi Ridings, of the Millhaus company, be named receiver.

A plan to rehabilitate the properties has already been submitted, according to Cathey. It is a plan many residents say can't start soon enough.

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