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Archive for Thursday, July 9, 2009

Eudora retirement home residents’ complaints prompt two-day inspection by state

Residents of a senior housing complex in Eudora are upset about living conditions, and the state is investigating.

July 9, 2009

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Betty Corel, far right, compliance officer with the Kansas Housing Resources Corp. and Sheila Robles, deputy director over rental housing, second from right, visit residents and units at Pine Crest III apartments Thursday in Eudora. Residents have had several complaints against the management company and the state responded with a unit-by-unit inspection Thursday. At left is Jean Farmer, a friend of one of the residents.

Betty Corel, far right, compliance officer with the Kansas Housing Resources Corp. and Sheila Robles, deputy director over rental housing, second from right, visit residents and units at Pine Crest III apartments Thursday in Eudora. Residents have had several complaints against the management company and the state responded with a unit-by-unit inspection Thursday. At left is Jean Farmer, a friend of one of the residents.

— Retirement is meant to be a relaxing time in one’s life.

Unfortunately for residents of Eudora’s Pine Crest III Apartments, 703 W. Eighth St., the past seven months have been anything but peaceful.

“I am more mad than disappointed — just plain mad,” said Clarice Morriss, who has been a Pine Crest III resident since 2002. “We’ve paid our dues, and the only thing we want in return is a little bit of respect.”

That sentiment was echoed by many residents in the Pine Crest III community Thursday after multiple complaints led to a visit by inspectors from the Kansas Housing Resources Corp., who spent the morning combing each unit for state violations.

“The reason that we are out here today is we received a number of tenant complaints, and we are here to make sure that the residents are taken care of,” said Sheila Robles, KHRC inspector.

The complex is for elderly or disabled residents, many of whom require housing assistance from the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority. Since December, many residents have been less than pleased with the maintenance schedules from the complex’s management company, Overland Park-based Cohen-Esrey Real Estate Services LLC.

Allegations of overdue maintenance requests and unpaid bills on behalf of Cohen Esrey materialized in September 2008 when the city of Eudora was forced to shut off utilities to the complex’s recreation building for non-payment.

City officials said that, since that time, payment for utility services has been sporadic and often late. After various and ongoing complaints, the KHRC made a visit to the property Thursday to investigate the matter.

Following inspection of 17 of the community’s 36 units, KHRC didn’t fail any unit but did walk away with major concerns about apparent infestations that many residents are dealing with.

“I am getting spiders in my apartment, and I hate spiders,” said Marilyn Livingston, a resident of seven years. “They haven’t had anyone in to spray. I don’t even remember the last time.”

The KHRC inspectors confirmed that the complex was scheduled to be sprayed by an extermination company in March, and that visit has not yet been made. Inspectors also said many of the problems at the complex were due to a lack of consistent management presence.

“That would fall on the management company,” Robles said. “Part of our responsibility as the state oversight agency is to ensure that all of the bills are being paid by the property … and that all of the residents are taken care of.”

The district manager from Cohen Esrey declined to comment for this story.

The KHRC is continuing its inspections today (Friday) and is expected to address its concerns with Cohen Esrey in coming weeks.

Comments

Practicality 5 years, 5 months ago

Wilbur,

You really ought to take care of your Arkodorians a little better. I thought you hillbillies took better care of your elder "kinfolk" than this.

igby 5 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

kidscount 5 years, 5 months ago

igby,

Your comment is absolutely disgusting! All persons deserve to be living in adaquate housing. These elderly folks have paid their dues to society and deserve to be treated with the upmost respect.

1234 5 years, 5 months ago

Maybe they should pay their contractors so that things keep hapening around there? I think their ideas are a little different....dont pay and get someone else to do the job, then dont pay them. Eventually you run out of people to do that work... HMMMMMMMMM. Pretty Sad.

simpleton 5 years, 5 months ago

I have heard some powerfully horrible stories of what gets investigated... and what turns out to be true in some ghastly cases. Keep in touch with your loved / liked ones in assisted living centers and take any complaints they have seriously. Everything from malnourishment to molestation can and does happen. Simple oversights, laziness, whatever... can lead to fatal consequences. Nursing homes should be more than storage units for the "old and in the way." If you can't muster sympathy and concern, I hope you have all your ducks in a row to make sure you -- or anyone you care about -- never have to live in such a place.

InspectorJo 5 years, 5 months ago

Smitty,

You really should stick to talking about what you know, in this case you are way OFF. Get your facts straight First.

"Unlike the Eudora for profit section 8 housing,"... Pinecrest III in Eudora is not section 8 housing, it is a section 42 housing complex, not a section 8.

"KHRC is more prone to support the for profit owners and their management companies".....KHRC allocates Tax Credits to both profit & non-profit owners.

"The reason that we are out here today is we received a number of tenant complaints, and we are here to make sure that the residents are taken care of,” said Sheila Robles, KHRC inspector. It sounds as if KHRC is concerned aabout the tenants. Not sure if you read the same article that I did Smitty, you may want to re-read it or quit living in DOOM and GLOOM.

My glass is half full, you on the other hand, have not had water in days.

simpleton 5 years, 5 months ago

My comment above was mainly addressed to the lack of concern shown by the first poster. Whether this is a nursing home or an apartment building for our older folks, it's something the community should focus on. And if "practicality" couldn't see these folks as parents and grandparents of others, at least they should think about what the situation could be like when it comes their time to move on down the conveyor belt.

Orwell 5 years, 5 months ago

Why should I pay taxes to regulate nursing homes? Whatever happened to personal responsibility and small government? We should only pay enough in taxes for the government to do things that help ME!

familyx5 5 years, 5 months ago

The pictures of the trash in the video are very much an UNDERSTATEMENT! There were a few times that the trash dumpsters were SO FULL that the residents were keeping trash inside their apartments to keep the animals from getting into it. They had gone 3 weeks and 4 days without trash service.Even though Cohen-Esrey was sent the bills for the electricity and trash they NEVER got paid on time. There was a time when the city shut off the electricity to the entire community.Getting back to the trash service,the bills have been paid so sporadically that the complex is infested with BUGS and A LOT of them. One of the residents was bitten by a brown recluse spider TWICE within a week!My mother took her to the emergency room three times in that week to care for her VERY BAD! spider bites. As of today,an exterminator has not been out to take care of the issues. It has been about a month since the spider bites. Another resident has MS and falls down sometimes and can't get back up on her own. The living conditions they are in are not safe for them. Those of you that say they don't accept section 8 and money from LDCHA you're wrong. My mother also used to be the manager there and did what she was supposed to and went above and beyond. She was on call 24/7 and didn't have to be. She posted her cell phone number on the office door for residents to call if they needed something and she was not there. She got a call at 11:45 one night because a resident couldn't flush her toilet. Keep in mind this resident has had this problem since Feb 2009 and still isn't fixed because Cohen Esrey won't approve a plumber to fix it. She has to PLUNGE her toilet every time she uses it. My mother put her shoes on and went down to see if she could help her. She wasn't able to because there is something wrong with the toilet. She said that she would try to get something done with it the next time she could call the corporate office.Because of Cohen Esrey's lack of ability to pay bills my mother was responsible for putting ice melt down and shoveling the sidewalks and making sure emergency vehicles could get in and out if they needed to. My mother also has heart failure but seems to keep going as long as she can help them. My husband and I would take care of the ice and snow removal so she didn't have to.That complex doesn't look that big but when you're using a little snow shovel it's huge.My mother would also taxi the residents around in her car if they needed to go to the store or doctor or just needed to get out for a little bit. This is continued........

familyx5 5 years, 5 months ago

Those of you that say "If she was the property manager, why didn't she do something?" Well, it doesn't work that way. She had a boss too and that boss had to approve anything major that had to be done.Her boss is the district manager of the area and is nothing but a liar. She doesn't care about anything but money. Now that they have no property manager they have NO way to get ahold of anybody for help with apartment issues. The district manager, Tracy Gordon, left a note on the office door with her office phone number on it but when someone calls it and leaves a message DON'T EXPECT TO BE CALLED BACK!Cohen Esrey should NOT be managing properties for the elderly or disabled.Even though my mother is not the manager anymore she STILL goes over to the complex EVERYDAY to check on them and make sure everything is ok with them. She STILL taxi's them around and STILL caters to their every need. We help her whenever we can. There are times we run a resident in to the doctor, fix a light fixture, or their toilet, maybe even change the batteries in their smoke alarms. Not major things, but things that should be handled by Cohen Esrey.

familyx5 5 years, 5 months ago

To those of you that believe I am only trying to stick up for my mother.....I am the first person to tell you I DO NOT stick up for her. That's the last thing I would ever do. However, she was in the right and she shouldn't be shot down for doing what she was supposed to as a manager and for going above and beyond her role as manager to heelp b/c she new that Cohen Esrey wasn't going approve any maintenance problems that she had subitted for.

cheryl_23 5 years, 5 months ago

This issue is NOT strictly related to elderly and disabled... it is a matter of general principle... The property management company is not doing their job! They collect rent and do little else. This is not right for ANY apartment complex. The fact that Pine Crest III has only elderly and/or disabled residents only makes the pocket-filling heartlessness of Cohen-Esry that much more obvious

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