Residents at Kansas City apartment complex go months without air conditioning

Problem Solvers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Morgan Kilmer moved into the Plaza City Club Apartments in September 2020. She said she quickly realized it wasn’t what she thought it would be as soon the air conditioning unit failed to turn on.

“It’s just really hot,” Kilmer said.

She said apartment management promised tenants a new cooling system by April 8. But her apartment is still without AC.

As a solution, management offered residents a $150 credit toward rent costs and $200 toward a new window AC unit.

But the residents, she said, have had enough.

“People have had their food spoil, their plants have died, and an artist has had their work melt,” she said.

Resident David Robinow said the complex created a union to make demands of the apartment management, including fixing the AC, reimbursement on lost funds, and allowing residents a way out of the lease without penalty. But he said it’s a long shot any of those demands will be met.

“People who are having severe physical trauma because of this are not being able to leave. They are trapped in a home that’s unhealthy to live in,” Robinow said.

He said he has initiated meetings to search for a solution, but even as he meets with management, his costs in his apartment continue to rise.

“I think the energy bill is four times the amount it was last month,” Robinow said.

Kilmer and Robinow said they are fortunate to have family help them as they wait for new units, but they want to be a voice for tenants who may not access to the same resources. The tenants said they simply want a safe, healthy and cool place to live.

“The people who have the power to create change and help people refuse to do so and instead focus on what they can put in their pockets,” Robinow said.

The apartment’s corporate office said pandemic-related issues caused the delays, and a new AC unit will be placed in the affected buildings Tuesday through Thursday.

“Plaza City Club Apartments is committed to the health, safety and comfort of its residents,” Mark Winter said in a written statement. “We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience that this maintenance issue has caused our residents.”

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