East Cleveland officials issue property warning
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — News 5 has reported on the struggles at East Cleveland’s Crystal Tower apartment complex for weeks. Earlier this month, residents went days without heat.
While contractors have been away all week working on the heat, and many at the resort have restored the heat, some still don’t.
Delzora Smith said her heat has returned this week, but it only works occasionally and sometimes does not blow warm or even hot air.
“I just pray everyday that he doesn’t come out anymore,” she said. “I wake up like, ‘Oh my God, why is it so cold in here?’ You check the thermostat and everything is fine but no, no heat. We shouldn’t have to suffer like this.
Renee White hasn’t had a heater in her unit since October.
“Some people still have heat, some don’t. It’s not fixed for everyone,” she said. “If I go into the kitchen, it’s cold, the living room, cold, the bathroom, cold. It got so bad that I couldn’t take it anymore.
White has resorted to spending the nights at her cousin’s house and when she’s in her apartment, she has heaters on.
“I have high electric bills. I get, you know, $300 bills for a month. My bill has never been like this,” she said. “I always try to figure out how to pay those electric bills.”
She said she called Odin Properties, the Pennsylvania-based company that owns Crystal Towers, but they told her to contact the property manager there.
“The shutters are closed and no one answers the phone. It’s like you’re leaning against the wall, something has to give,” she said.
White hopes to meet with a lawyer to break his current lease.
A spokesperson for Odin Properties told News 5: “My understanding from monitoring staff this evening is that the building’s heating is fully operational. If a resident has a problem, we ask them “to contact the management office so that we can follow up. We have resolved many issues that have been raised by residents this week.”
A spokesperson for the East Cleveland Building and Housing Department said city inspectors were on site Wednesday and the city issued a 24-hour warning for the property by mail. If Crystal Towers fails to fully restore heat, then it will face a court hearing.
But when News 5 asked if city inspectors would be back this weekend to check on the heat situation, that spokesperson said no, likely Monday.
The lack of response from East Cleveland officials is disheartening for White.
“Go now, make sure the people in your community are okay,” she said.
In the meantime, if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have heat, housing, a hot meal or if you need legal assistance, Centraide is there to help you.
Michelle Snowden works with United Way in Cuyahoga County, she said, even if you’re not sure if 2-1-1 can help you, call and they’ll make sure you’re connected to resources that can meet your needs.
“Let’s figure it out, figure out what you’re entitled to and do what we can to find you a warm place to stay or give you food to eat,” she said. “We have an amazing team of people who are going to be very compassionate and understanding. When you feel helpless and don’t know where to turn, I really can’t stress enough, just call 2 -1-1. .”