Residents of Chesapeake apartment complex speak out about shootings, mold and other safety issues

Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Residents of the Forest Cove Apartments in Chesapeake say they’re dealing with a number of unsafe living conditions, not including recent deadly shootings.

Bugs, no air conditioning, and mold are just some of the issues residents told 10 On Your Side they’ve been dealing with.

Add those things to a list that already includes major safety concerns.

A line of cars in the Forest Cove Apartments prepares for the funeral of a young man killed in a recent shooting.

Residents of the complex say crime isn’t their only concern.

10 On Your Side spoke to two residents, one man and one woman, who wished to remain anonymous due to fear of retribution from their property manager.

“It’s a lot of violence in the neighborhood, for one,” the woman said. “Anything could happen, drive-by or something like that, and the kids are outside.”

She brought us inside her apartment, where fans hummed.

Her air conditioning broke in the middle of the summer and still hasn’t been fixed.

There’s also a hole in the wall in the bathroom, some mildew too, and gnats she said she always finds in the bathroom.

She said she’s voiced her concerns to management multiple times but said it takes a while before someone actually comes to fix something.

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“They don’t make me feel like a human. They just make me feel like I’m out here,” the woman said.

Just around the corner, the man who 10 On Your Side spoke with said he cares for someone with a disability and has lived there for decades.

He asked management to fix some issues, including replacing the blinds and the carpet, but management said they’d have to pay for it.

His blinds have been fixed, but they weren’t willingly replaced.

“The windows had to get shot out to get new blinds,” the man said.

There are still bullet holes in the door of his apartment, but his windows and blinds have been replaced.

Still, other residents sent in pictures with boarded up windows and bullet holes inside their homes after other recent shootings.

Even with his windows fixed, he said he has three main concerns.

“The only issue now is safety,” the man said. “Then maintenance is second, and communication with management.”

10 On Your Side reached out to the Lawson Companies, who owns Forest Cove Apartments, for comment.

They said in a statement:

“This senseless violence is tragic. Resident and staff safety at our communities is always our top priority, and we’ve taken multiple steps to prevent crime on the property. For the past several years we’ve employed private security to patrol the property after hours at a cost of about $120,000 annually. Our current security contractor provides a call-in number for residents to communicate concerns directly to security. The move to a security contractor with this ability was implemented based on resident feedback. In the past four years we’ve also upgraded all of the lighting on the property to bright white LEDs with protective covers to prevent damage, including building hallways/breezeways and exterior building lights. Dominion Energy maintains additional pole lights on and near the property.

“In response to the maintenance complaints, our company follows a comprehensive mold policy that includes a mold report. We respond to mold complaints immediately. We also employ a pest control contractor to treat the buildings. In recent months we have experienced periodic delays in non-emergency maintenance requests due to COVID related challenges including staggered employee shifts, supply chain challenges and material availability, and some residents not allowing maintenance staff into their apartments due to COVID concerns. However, emergency repairs are addressed promptly, including damaged windows and doors.

“The impacts of crime in the community and lingering effects of the pandemic on our residents, employees, and neighbors are of great concern. We have taken proactive measures to protect our residents and staff, and collaborate with the Chesapeake Police Department to ensure the safety of residents, but are always open to suggestions to make our community safer.”

The Lawson Companies

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