City of Stuart, Astorwood Apartments make agreement to repair 19 code violations on property

City giving 24 months for all repairs
Posted at 12:05 AM, Jan 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 13:13:58-05

STUART, Fla. -- Change is coming for residents of Astorwood in Stuart, but some residents say it’s not coming fast enough.

Danger signs were posted on all of the buildings in the apartment complex in October because of nearly two dozen code violations.


Those violations range from mold and rodents, to structural issues and faulty air conditioning units.


Now, the Stuart City Attorney says the city and Astorwood representatives have reached an agreement for Astorwood to correct all of the violations within 24 months.


The consent agreement will hold Astorwood’s management accountable to make the repairs.


Resident Lula Calderon says she has been living with code violations for nearly a year.


“The mold, the bathroom floor is caving in…It’s terrible. It’s terrible. It’s really terrible.”


Resident Rich Youst says he is living with rats in the attic.


But, he’s also one of few residents who have slowly started seeing repairs to his home.


A city spokesperson says Astorwood’s management has obtained permits for new roofs and Air Conditioning units for the apartments.


Youst says his roof has already been replaced.


There has also been some outside maintenance, mainly cosmetic landscaping.


“But you live inside. They need to come inside and fix stuff,” said Calderon.


Aside from new roofs and A/C units, repairs will be prioritized for buildings with the most violations and issues.


Calderon still is not sure what where that leaves her home on the repair list.


“You’ve got to live like this until they get to you, even if it’s next year,”


The repair plan did not come fast enough to prevent some residents from moving out.


Others were given eviction notices for refusing to pay rent while their home was labeled ‘dangerous’.


Youst collected signatures from residents in the complex, looking for an attorney who will represent them. Youst wants to sue Astorwood for allegedly putting residents’ health at risk by exposing them to black mold.


No attorneys have been willing to take the case, Youst says.

Mark Hubbard, a spokesman for Astorwood Apartments, says some residents received letters due to non-payment of rent which outlined eviction, but ultimately, management decided to let anyone who wanted to get out of their lease do so without penalty.
Hubbard says none of the residents have been evicted.
Astorwood leadership is doing their best to work with the city and community, Hubbard says.