'We're getting sick and no one cares': Wichita apartment residents describe grim living conditions
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Imagine living somewhere surrounded by mold, and trash everywhere, and having to walk over literally thousands of bugs in the hallways. Residents at emery gardens apartments tell us that's the reality for them every day, and no one seems to care.
"So this is the entryway when you walk in," said resident Sarah Hegi showing us the entrance to her apartment. "As you can tell, I mean you can just smell the mold when you walk in."
Hegi says the living conditions are horrendous.
"The apartments below me in my apartment are completely full of black mold. My children have gotten sick since I've been here. And I'm just tired of it now," said Hegi.
Even Hegi's unit, which is more recently remodeled, has a laundry list of problems, including leaks under her sinks, a thermostat that doesn't work, windows that have no locks, no vent for her dryer meaning she has to pump all that exhaust back into her apartment to do laundry, and a filthy utility room with exposed wires everywhere.
But she says her neighbors have it even worse.
"They're falling from over there, so watch out that they don't fall on you," said Hegi as we walked into a swarm of hundreds if not thousands of bugs inside the front door of her neighbor's building.
Dozens of residents tell us the same story – no matter what they do, nothing is ever fixed, and you can rarely even get ahold of management.
So we decided to pay them a visit ourselves. But just like the residents warned us, an hour before the posted closing time, no one was in sight at the front office.
So we tried calling the after-hours phone number, and it's nothing but an automated voicemail box.
"We wanted to know if there's a plan to address this, or if the company had any comment," we told them in a voice message.
Hegi says she's hoping something will change soon, because like so many who live here, she doesn't have the means right now to get out.
"I live paycheck to paycheck. So there's no way that I can just pack up me and my three kids and go find something else. There's no way," she said.
As of this writing, no one with the apartment has returned our calls or messages.