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Elderly group says elevator problems in apt. are dangerous

By Mireya Garcia, Telemundo Anchor/NC13 Reporter, Twitter: @Mireya_G, m.garcia@krdo.com
Published On: Jun 07 2013 06:46:32 PM CDT

Residents say the Housing Authority isn't being responsive.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A group of seniors from Colorado Springs has been putting up with elevator problems for weeks. They said the Housing Authority is thinking about dollars and cents, not the people.

The Centennial Plaza apartments go up 11 floors. There is only one working elevator in the Housing Authority building. Residents feel the government doesn't care about how they're living.

 “If we have an emergency here with old people that are in their 80s and 90s -- a stroke a heart attack -- and these elevators are down, and minutes make a difference, and these paramedics have to run up 11 flights of stairs,” said 5-year resident David Oliver.

Elevator 1 is broken and still being worked on. Elevator 2 is finally working again after several weeks, but residents said the elevator is very temperamental, and some of them have even gotten stuck.

“I was stuck in the elevator six weeks ago or eight weeks ago for three hours,” said 3-year resident Michael Meloy, who uses a wheelchair.

“It is consistently breaking down. Today, even, I had to wait almost half an hour to come down from the fifth floor,” said three year resident Rene Cuthbert.

The residents in the building are elderly, and some have disabilities. When the elevators aren't working their only option are the stairs. Sometimes that causes some dangerous trouble.

“You carry my walker down nine flights of stairs. I've fallen down two different times,” said Jeannie Genakos, who just moved in.

Residents say it will be another eight weeks before the second elevator is working again.

Many residents also have service animals, and because the elevator is not reliable the animals’ walks are infrequent. Resident said, the Housing Authority has recommended letting the animals go on the balconies.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 contacted the Housing Authority for their response, and it didn't return phone calls.

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