Emergency Condemnation in Progress - Willows Apartments

August 14, 2007 -- Posted at 7:00 p.m. CST

Jonesboro, AR -- City Officials have issued an emergency condemnation for buildings A, B, and C in the Willows Apartment Complex.

Code Enforcement said plumbing and electrical work wasn't up to code. Public Works Director, Eric Woodruff, said after all the calls they received, he went to check it out.

"We received a lot of calls that said the conditions were just not fit to live in. So I came out myself to see what the problems were, and no one, no one should have to live in these apartments. We're not here to cause problems, we don't want to tear anything down. We are just concerned for the safety and the well being of the citizens of Jonesboro."

Residents in the apartment complex showed us mold on the walls, electrical wires exposed, ceiling fans falling in, leaks, and other problems. Ashley Farnum has only been living here a few months and says they've asked for the problems to be fixed, and nothing has been done.

"My air conditioner only half-way works, and we can only sleep in one room to stay cool. I have to stay up all night because of the spiders, they've been on my son. It's awful. I told the manager about my air problem and he said he would fix it. When my house finally got up to 95 degrees I called the owners and they said they would get it fixed. It wasn't fixed, but I did get an eviction notice saying they couldn't accommodate me and I need to vacate the premises."

Woodruff says the next step is to wait. A letter has been sent to the owners who live in Colorado and they have only 10 days to respond.

"I've talked with the manager here and he says it's really a limit on the funds on what they can fix."

We talked with the manager Patrick Hubbard, who lives on the premises, and says they are doing all they can.

"We don't know there are problems unless someone tells us. Sometimes they think we're phsychic. We start with the most important things like air and plumbing and work our way down. But these people call us telling us that their air won't work. It's 100 degrees outside, it's not going to be 75 in your home."

Woodruff says they were able to find all occupants a place to go. But now the problem is the residents can't find trucks or they can't get out in such short notice.