Safety concerns remain at Peppertree Apartments

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 5:36 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The safety of residents at the Peppertree Apartments remains a top priority for the City of Memphis.

Now, the complex must make changes before anyone else can move in.

The people living there say they’ve dealt with it all from crime, to fires and more recently structural damage.

It will be four months before anyone can sign a new lease at the property.

Monday a federal court granted the City of Memphis’ injunction to prohibit new tenants at the apartment complex for 120 days.

We heard from residents and some say, if changes don’t come soon, the property may need to shut down.

“I think they shouldn’t try to put nobody else over here,” one tenant said. “They might be endangering somebody else’s life.”

A resident we spoke to at Peppertree says the 120-day injunction was the right move.

“Look how many times something done fell over here,” he said. “They just had to fix two different walkways.”

A few weeks ago, a walkway collapsed leaving two people injured and in the hospital.

The city stepped in and the complex was given two weeks to fix the issues, but then, another collapse.

“Several people live on a second floor and they need to get on top of a walkway,” Chief Legal Officer for the City of Memphis Jennifer Sink said. “We want to make sure that they’re safe enough to walk on them, but we also want to make sure that walking underneath these walkways is safe too.”

Sink says during Tuesday’s court hearing, the city found there were still many areas of concern.

She went on to say the city is not satisfied with reports from engineers who say large crowds cannot gather on walkways at the complex.

“Many of the people that live there are families and multiple people will be walking to and from their apartment, so we are asking for more information from the structural engineer,” Sink said. “Ultimately we want to make sure that people can walk and just live their ordinary life around their apartments, and right now we’re not satisfied that that has yet to be resolved.”

Tenants did not want to be identified out of fear of retaliation from management.

But, one woman we spoke to said, she has had the same issues, including mold and a lack of air, since moving in 6 months ago.

“No heat, it be like water coming through our borders and stuff like that,” she said. “And when you tell them about something they take forever to come out and do it.”

She said it’s made her feel uncomfortable.

“The management need to get it together,” another tenant said. “They need to make people feel safe as if they would they self. They go home to they house every night, they secure they house, make sure our apartments secure, do us right.”

The city attorney also said the measures that have been satisfied, at this point, are temporary and only good for 60 days.

Another environmental court hearing is set for Thursday.

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