37 apartment units condemned in Vicksburg, residents concerned - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

37 apartment units condemned in Vicksburg, residents concerned

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Dozens of people who live at Whispering Woods Apartments in Vicksburg may have to find a new place to live. Vicksburg Building officials have condemned 37 units inside Whispering Woods that were deemed  unsafe and unsanitary.  

Inspections revealed more than 80 serious city and state building code violations. A letter was sent to the apartment complex management about the findings. The deficiencies are based on the International Property Maintenance Code, 2012 Edition.

Victor Gray-Lewis, Community Development Director says the investigation into the apartments started months ago.

"We have been off and on receiving some complaints from some of the tenants throughout the year and upon making a site inspection we discovered that the code violations were pretty extensive," Gray-Lewis explained.

"One particular building the entire roof was falling in," Gray-Lewis said.  "There are tenants living in the complex that have no heat and they are paying full rent, and when I questioned one of the tenants why won't they move and they say we have no place we can go."

In the letter sent to Whispering Woods Holding LLC, a Delaware-based holding company with offices in Florida, several structures and dwelling units were ruled as unfit for human occupancy and unsafe.

"I was horrified that these types of units existed here and they looked as bad as they did," said Gray-Lewis.  "From what I saw I can't imagine why anybody would want to live out there."

Carolyn Dillard has been living in Whispering Woods for 6 months and has had enough.

"We have had mold up under the sink, in the bathroom," Dillard said.  "It's just ridiculous and I have a 3 month old grand baby so I can't live here."

Property manager, Miranda Stewart said most of the condemned units are vacant, but said her team is going to make the necessary changes.

"We've knocked on everybody's door to see what it is that they actually need because like I said a lot of them have not reported to me that they are having these problems," Stewart explained.  "Starting Tuesday I'm going to go and get the permit and we bought a lot of supplies to start cleaning and a lot of things to get things done,"

State law says the apartment complex management has 30 days to fix the problems or the tenants face evacuation.

"During the 30 days the owner could also go in and make the necessary needed repairs that way the tenant may never need to leave," Gray-Lewis said.

The apartment complex has 152 units and was acquired by Whispering Woods during a foreclosure sale in 2013. It was previously called Old Confederate Ridge Apartments. Gray-Lewis says work was made to improve the complex's image, but a year ago, units were condemned.

As for Dillard, she says she is not taking her chances. She is making plans to move.

"I'm getting out of here," Dillard said. "I've had to throw away my daughter's clothes and my grandson's clothes because of mold.

3 On Your Side will follow up to see if management makes the changes within the next weeks.

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