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Memphis Towers tenants are fighting for better living conditions

Tenants said the issue is that they are still expected to pay rent regardless of how inhumane their living conditions are.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tenants say living conditions have gotten worse for Memphians in the Memphis Towers complex. 

While dealing with inconsistent hot water and a number of other issues, the tenants have taken more matters into their own hands. And a number of tenants told ABC24 they have experienced retaliation for speaking up. 

The tenants said the issue is that they are still expected to pay rent regardless of how inhumane their living conditions are.

“They’ve changed management. They have not changed the problem. This is a death trap,” Joyce Warren stated.

She said she feels management owes her back the money she has already paid, just for how bad it is.

“They cut the water off 3-4 days, then they cut it on and we don’t have any hot water,” Warren said.

The tenants said the stinky trash in the hallways, holes in almost every hallway wall, dead insects and rodents, and the lack of air conditioning don’t make it any better.

Residents met for a weekly meeting with the Memphis Tenants Union, which is an organization that fights for safe, secure, and dignified housing. Tenants made calls to complain about the issues that have not been fixed.

“HUD has been complaining that they have not received complaints about Millennia Housing Management here in Memphis. Tenants know that is not the case,” Memphis Towers organizer Caroline Francisco said.

She added that the purpose of reaching out was to prove to HUD that they followed protocol. 

Tenants read from a script that the group collectively created, and made calls to complain about their issues, one by one.

Tenants said management just recently started asking those who have bed bugs to pay an additional $80 per treatment for pest control.

Also, the group said they already reached out to code enforcement, so calling HUD was just an extra step, but tenants are prepared to continue to fight for better living conditions if need be.

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