‘It’s hell living here’: Residents living at KCK apartments warn of deteriorating conditions

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. – People living at one complex in KCK believe conditions are so bad, it’s borderline unlivable.

Many of the folks who stay at the property on the 600 block of Tauromee Avenue are placed there by social service agencies.

Deloris Sanders is fed up with conditions inside her studio apartment she shares with her two baby boys. They moved into the space in March.

“I get so disgusted when I come home from work,” Sanders said. “I don’t even want to walk in here. It makes me sick to my stomach.”

On Monday, when FOX4 visited the property, there were cockroaches present, possible bedbugs, windows that didn’t open and the ceiling in Sanders' bathroom was on the floor. She said it caved in nearly a week.

“They need to burn this whole building down or truck and demolish it,” she said.

Sanders said she would have never moved into the building had she known what she knows now -- and she’s not alone.

“I’ve been having all kinds of problems, and I can’t do it anymore,” Sanders said. “It’s humiliating.”

“It’s hell living here,” said Latoya Griffin, who lives two stories above Sanders.

She lives in the unit with her five kids. Griffin is legally blind. She said there are constantly water leaks in her apartment, and there appears to be mold growing on the ceiling.

“This place is gross,” she said. “My kids don’t deserve to be here. I don’t deserve to give up $725 of my money, and we have to live in this nastiness.”

The moms said they have complained to maintenance, but there are never any real solutions to the problems.

“I got to keep on buying roach bombs, bed bug bombs, all kind of stuff. Throwing out my kids clothes, expenses I don’t have,” Griffin said.

Sandra Shields owns the property, which was converted from a house into apartments. Shields said the lease that tenants sign clearly states they have to notify her of issues in writing.

She said that hasn’t happened.

“When they move in they are clean -- not pretty but clean -- and they meet the city requirement,” Shields said. “I’m perfectly willing to fix anything that’s broken. I do. Give me in writing what’s wrong, and I will take care of it.”

She said tenants aren’t locked into their leases, so they can leave at any time.

“I’m not making money off of these units,” she explained, pointing out she covers all of the tenant’s utilities, some of whom she said are behind on rent.

Sanders is planning to move from the property in the coming weeks, but she wanted to warning others to stay away. However, Griffin doesn’t have that option.

“I’ve been calling all kinds of places to see if they would let me in, but they tell me I’ve got to make three times the amount of rent, and it’s hard for me,” Griffin said. “I just don’t have anywhere to go.”

Online county property records show more than 20 code enforcement violations at the building, all of which have been completed by the homeowner. Tenants said it just doesn’t add up.

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