Residents of the Astorwood Apartments in Stuart say they’re forced to live in dangerous conditions.
Stuart code enforcement marked every apartment building in the neighborhood with orange ‘danger’ signs Tuesday, saying the homes are unsafe.
Residents say they’ve been complaining for months, and in some cases for years, about mold, leaking roofs and air conditioners that are not the right size for the units.
Code enforcement has been warning neighborhood management to bring the buildings up to code for months.
Tuesday, code enforcement took the next steps to correct the problems by marking the buildings dangerous.
“It actually says this is not safe. Do not enter the building. Well, we are all entering the building because we have no choice,” said resident Dawn Cline.
Cline has mold in every room of her home, and so is the case in many other apartments, according to residents.
Residents say their complaints to management have gone unanswered, or only temporarily fixed.
“I’ve been here three years breathing mold,” Cline said.
She explains many residents do not have the resources to move. The property managers have not contacted residents to accommodate them while the code violations are still present.
“If I were to violate my contract I would have to pay 1,400 dollars. But, they can violate the health of myself and these children and everybody else,” Cline said.
A property manager for the property would not comment on the situation Tuesday.
Cline is keeping track of the impacts on her health. Other residents are considering getting tested for mold exposure
“I can’t breathe. Every breath I cough. And it’s the kind of cough that comes from your toes and feels like you’re coughing a lung up,” Cline said.
For now, she is forced to ignore the danger warnings.
“I have a feeling we’re all going to be living in the street if we can’t find something.”
Residents say they are looking for legal help.
The city is limited in what it can do to help residents because the property is not publicly subsidized.
The city has scheduled a public hearing with code enforcement and property management for November 10.