GASTONIA, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Help will soon be on the way to residents of a Gastonia apartment complex who worry parts of their building could crumble at any moment. At least two units violate the city’s housing code. Queen City News received a tip about a patio that had collapsed in Georgetowne Woods Apartments on Hudson Street in Gastonia.
Jesenia Clark lives in the unit next door to the collapsed balcony. She is concerned her patio could be next to fall because of the cracks in the ground.
Caution tape hangs on her patio and wood boards cover the door to keep people away from the area that code enforcement has deemed unsafe. Clark says the gaping hole formed and swallowed everything on the patio in February. She says her neighbor had previously complained about structural problems on the balcony.
“My biggest fear living here is my porch collapsing and taking some of the living room with it,” Clark said.
Clark says back in December, the breezeway of the building collapsed. She says the management company moved tenants into a hotel to fix those problems. Clark says problems persist inside her unit.
“I have a dip in my ceiling,” Clark said. “I’m scared something might fall through.”
While Queen City News visited Clark, other residents invited us inside their homes. They showed concerns like black mold coating the walls.
Georgetowne Woods is owned by ML Property Group. Clark shared emails she sent to the Atlanta-based company with no replies.
“The only thing they sent out was to pay our rent on time, that’s all we got,” Clark said.
The City of Gastonia visited the property back on February 10th and gave the owners a list of violations. By law, the company gets 30 days to begin to fix repairs and ask for a re-inspection. After several calls and an email, Queen City News heard back from ML Property Group. The CEO of the company claims they have secured a contractor to conduct repairs and have been working swiftly to address the situation.
For Clark, the clock is ticking, and she hopes management fixes this problem and all others before it’s too late.
“We’ve been having issues but many of us can’t afford to move,” Clark said. “So, it’s like you deal with these issues but you shouldn’t have to because it’s a health condition and fire hazard.”