HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Her home didn’t suffer new damage when so many others did this past weekend.
But Monique Bryant says that’s small consolation, considering the damage she’s already living with at her Governor’s Square rental home along North 4th Street, just south of Maclay Street.
She showed abc27 News water damage accumulated from years-long leaks she says the property owner has sometimes patched but never properly fixed. She said snowmelt in the winter is particularly problematic.
In fact, city code enforcers condemned the home last month. “Dwelling unfit for human habitation,” reads a placard on the front of the home where she continues living.
So why is Bryant still living in the unit?
She says because the landlord – Uptown Partners, which filed for bankruptcy last month – won’t move her to another suitable unit. She says all she wants is “safe, affordable housing.”
Bryant said the management company offered her one unit, which she turned down “because it was not going to be turned over, meaning properly cleaned — the carpet was despicable,” and when she identified a unit she would accept, a representative “said, ‘No, we’re not giving you that unit,'” she said.
A spokesman for the management company confirmed part of that account but said important differences are why Bryant — who said she has been living in the complex for 33 years, including for the past 10 in her current unit — remains in the unit.
“We value Ms. Bryant as a longtime resident, and we offered her an alternate apartment, which she turned down,” said Ed Cafasso, the spokesman. “Unfortunately, there are no other one-bedroom units available at this time. The apartment she prefers would require repairs that we cannot make with the property in bankruptcy. We share her frustration, but hopefully she can use her housing voucher to rent a one-bedroom at another property.”
“It’s just a whole debacle, you know, because if it had been taken care of properly, we wouldn’t have had this issue,” Bryant said.
The property has numerous other code violations in other units, although dissatisfaction among tenants is not universal. Two tenants who were in the management office when abc27 News visited to inquire about Bryant’s situation said the property manager had generally worked with them to resolve issues.