I have a question: Where are the water protectors for Flint, Mich.? I ask this because the city shut off water services at an apartment complex Thursday because the owners failed to pay a $60,000 water bill.
The city shut off the services at the Lakeside Apartments in Flint around 2 p.m. Thursday, resident David Martinez told MLive.
Utilities are supposed to be included in his rent, said Martinez, who said that even though he always pays his rent on time, his family no longer has running water and they can’t afford to move.
As previously reported on The Root, the city of Flint announced Monday that it was going to begin shutting off water services for residents and property owners who had unpaid water bills.
The city had plans to shut off water service for two apartment complexes as well as 18 other residential customers who are delinquent on their water and sewer bills. According to a city spokeswoman, the accounts had not been paid in at least five months.
Orchard Lane Manor apartments also faced shut-off Thursday, but MLive reports that a payment of $9,461 was made to that account earlier this week, preventing the loss of service.
Lakeside did not make a payment on a past-due balance of more than $60,000, according to city spokeswoman Kristin Moore.
A property manager named Joe Smith said he’s been in contact with the owners of Lakeside who say they plan to pay the bill.
“Yes, they are planning to pay the bill. I don’t know when, but I do know he’s going to pay,” Smith said. “They’re going to set up a plan and all of that stuff. We’re going to do what we’re supposed to do.”
Smith declined to go into more detail about the plan.
MLive reports that all but three of the apartments in the Lakeside complex are empty, and a lot of the empty apartments have been taken over by squatters. The garbage dumpster in the courtyard is overflowing, and the lawn is full of items left behind by previous tenants.
Basically, the tenants in those three apartments are living in squalor.
I have ranted continuously about the situation in Flint, so there’s not a lot of new ground to cover, but this? This?
Remember, I told you before that 40 percent of the people in Flint live below the poverty level. These people can’t afford anything else.
It would appear that they are being taken advantage of by a slumlord of a property owner. It’s not like they can band together and pay the bill themselves, and the city knows this!
It is infuriatingly outrageous that the city would add insult to the black eye the game has already given these people by turning off their water service.
Like, come on.
Where are the water protectors for Flint?
Read more at MLive.