KANSAS CITY, Mo. — U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II is calling for action from a Kansas City apartment complex where residents have been complaining of poor living conditions for months.
FOX4 first reported about Stonegate Meadows Apartments in April when a fire left 15 people hospitalized.
Afterward, multiple tenants reached out to Problem Solvers, concerned for their safety. Residents said their living situations were still unacceptable weeks after the fire
Several people said they have unexpected guests living in hidden rooms and abandoned buildings. Others had issues with air conditioning, pests and sewage.
Problem Solvers visited again in January, eight months after the fire and found a laundry list of maintenance issues, including broken and beeping fire alarms.
“The fire alarms, we don’t even got one in the hallway,” tenant Sedric Jones said. “Like, this whole building don’t got no fire alarms, so especially in case of a fire, you won’t hear it unless you got one inside your apartment.”
Residents were also still dealing with water leaking through ceilings, heating and air conditioning concerns, water complications and security problems.
Edwin Lowndes, executive director at the Housing Authority of Kansas City, said they are aware of a number of issues at Stonegate Meadows and are working with property managers to address them.
But now one of the Kansas City area’s Congressmen is getting involved.
Cleaver, who represents Kansas City in the U.S. House, sent a letter to the property owner.
“The information I am receiving from the public and from local inspection data is unacceptable,” Cleaver said in his letter.
“Less than one year ago, a fire at your complex led to the hospitalization of 15 individuals. I was shocked to read new allegations in local media about a lack of functioning fire detectors at the property. No Missourian deserves to live in unsafe or substandard housing, and it appears Stonegate Meadows has fallen far short of its obligations.”
Cleaver went on to encourage Stonegate Meadows to work with tenants, advocates and local officials to repair all units that have reported problems and resolve all health and safety issues.
“It is my expectation that maintenance and repairs currently being conducted at the property go above the minimum standards set by federal and local regulation,” Cleaver wrote.
The Congressman also noted that residents at Stonegate Meadows, and any other housing complex, should know their rights and resources available.
Kansas City renters concerned about health and safety conditions can report issues to the city’s Healthy Homes program by calling 816-513-6464.
“Every Kansas Citian has the right to a safe, stable, and healthy home environment, and it’s important that people understand they have resources available to them if their landlord fails to maintain a certain standard of living conditions,” Cleaver said.