Update: A day after this story was published, First News learned that the elevator was back up and running.
WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – First News received several complaints from people living at the Eastview Apartments in Warren. They say it has been a struggle trying to get up and down the stairs to do simple things like bringing in groceries, taking out the trash and going to doctor’s appointments.
“I have an awful time coming up those steps,” said tenant Ila Workman.
Workman lives on the third floor of the Eastview Apartments, which are part of the Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority (TMHA). Workman says the elevator has been out of service for 10 weeks. Arthritis and cancer force her to struggle up the stairs.
“I can’t do ’em myself. I have to have somebody there to watch me because I don’t want to fall,” Workman said.
Seven Eastview tenants including Workman, many of whom are elderly, shared their frustrations over the elevator.
“I have someone take my laundry. I have someone get my groceries. Someone takes my garbage and I have to pay for that,” said tenant Patty Elser.
They say they received a letter from management notifying them that starting Dec. 6, the elevator would be replaced. It’s a process that was expected to take six weeks.
“They told us they were gonna have the elevator done in six weeks and it hasn’t been done yet,” said tenant Terry McElroy.
The tenants say they’ve had no communication about the delay and they want answers. They reached out to councilman Ken MacPherson, who got in touch with the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Industrial Compliance, which inspects elevators.
“They called me back and said like the project’s not near being done and it’s a full replacement, not a repair,” MacPherson said.
“I’d like to get a telephone call and having them explain to me why it’s taking so long when they lied in the letter that they left in the front of our doors,” said tenant Joyce Johnson.
TMHA executive director Donald Emerson says maintenance of the elevator is left up to Schindler, the contractor in charge. We reached out to the company but have yet to hear back.
“We’re all left in the lurch. Well, when’s it gonna be done?” asked tenant Jeanine Slomcheck.
Emerson said he expected the elevator would be operational sometime on Thursday because crews from Schindler were seen parked outside of the Eastview Apartments. When we last checked in with tenants, the elevator wasn’t in service yet.