Residents report to council troubling living conditions in public housing

Louisville Metro Council members vow to investigate living conditions at subsidized housing developments and those owned by the city itself.
Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 8:09 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Council members vow to investigate living conditions at subsidized housing developments and those owned by the city itself.

Wednesday, they heard from a number of residents with similar concerns about mold, garbage not being removed, a lack of security, and a lack of response about their problems.

The issues were highlighted Tuesday in an exclusive Troubleshooter Investigation. WAVE News interviewed two women who live at Riverport Senior, off Cane Run Road and Bristol Bluff Apartment in Jeffersontown.

Both developments are managed by Winterwood Incorporated, and owned by LDG Development. They receive subsidies for units and are in agreement with the Louisville Metro Housing Authority which in turn, works with the City’s Codes and Regs for their inspections.

During the meeting, Riverport and Bristol Bluff came under fire, as did the Dr. William G. Weathers Senior Home in Park Duvall, which is a Louisville Metro Housing Authority property but is also managed by Winterwood.

Councilman Dan Seum stated he believes some of Louisville’s subsidized housing residents have fallen into the hands of “slumlords.”

Councilwoman Paula McCraney called the conditions “unacceptable.”

Councilwoman Tammy Hawkins described a number of problematic pictures in a slideshow.

One resident, who was featured in Tuesday’s Troubleshooter Investigation under anonymity, decided to speak to the council members and reveal her identity out of frustration. She spoke of her issues with mold, which was painted over, and her desire to be moved to another unit.

“As long as I am on the council, I am not going to tolerate this foolishness,” Councilwoman Donna Purvis said during the meeting. She apologized to the residents in attendance and those living near Riverport who say their previously tranquil neighborhood has been turned upside down by crime and teens running amok.

“This is not the way to go to sleep or the way to wake up,” she said. “So I just want to make a public statement, LDG wherever you are, you have some answers to give us.”

The LDG Vice President for Communications, Christi Lanier-Robinson told WAVE News the property owners were not going to attend Wednesday’s meeting. She said they were not willing to answer questions about issues that had not specifically been brought to their attention or given the time to investigate.

Winterwood was asked to attend the meeting. They, too, did not show up, nor have they returned our call from Tuesday.

Lanier-Robinson gave WAVE News copies of emails showing they’d asked for more specific information on the problem units from Councilwoman Hawkins but did not get the requested information.

Hawkins said they have had opportunities, like during a recent meeting at Riverport with residents and the Metro Council hearing Wednesday, to find out for themselves.

Then, there’s LDG’s own management company, Winterwood, who Lanier-Robinson said to WAVE News can’t keep track of every one of their 300 unit’s histories in order to provide them with the specific troubled unit numbers.

She added Winterwood will no longer be the management company at Riverport as of October.

Winterwood is also the management company used by the Louisville Metro Housing Authority to run the Dr. William G. Weathers Senior Home in Park Duvall. That building is owned by the city itself.

Several residents of that facility also addressed the council with similar complaints, adding that their carpets have not been changed in 20 years and that there is a lack of security. Some referred to the facility as a “prison.”

Lisa Osenka, the LMHA Director did attend the council hearing Wednesday. She told them she wanted to hear from the residents about their concerns in order to attend to the problems immediately.

She was asked to provide additional information, like financials and budgetary figures to the council members.

The meeting was spearheaded by Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin who was interviewed in our Troubleshooter Investigation. She has asked Codes and Regs for copies of their inspection reports on subsidized units. Those discussions, Shanklin said, are going to be continued.

A subsequent meeting is being scheduled to further the conversation and discuss the relationship the city has with the parties expected to provide safe and respectable living conditions.