By Robbie Owens
DALLAS (KTVT) — Another day has passed without a working elevator at a high-rise senior living community in Oak Cliff.
Tenants say mobility impaired seniors on the upper floors of building five are now trapped in their apartments. Those forced to navigate the stairs do so in constant fear of falling.
“I’m on a cane. I also have a walker. So, it is very difficult,” explained Catherine McBeth. “And I am afraid of falling down the stairs…even worse, coming back up the stairs.”
McBeth also worries about wheelchair bound neighbors who have no way to leave the building.
“It makes me feel helpless,” McBeth said. “makes me feel like there’s nothing I can do except use my voice.”
So, CBS 11 contributed the footwork, knocking on doors from Dallas city hall to code compliance to the Nolen Grand’s corporate offices.
A spokesman, Steven W. Hopkins, J.D., manager of legal services for Highmark Residential provided the following statement:
“We are in constant communication with one of the largest elevator repair companies in the country that we utilize in these situations. Due to supply chain issues, the repairs have not yet been completed. We are continuing to follow up with the elevator repair company and will continue to do so until repairs are satisfactorily completed.”
No timeline to complete those repairs was provided, but Hopkins acknowledged that the length of time tenants had been without elevator service was “unacceptable.”
Christopher Christian, Director of Code Compliance for the City of Dallas, tells CBS 11 that his office was just recently made aware of the situation.
“We are empathetic to the situation,” said Christian. “And working to address concerns. I just was made aware yesterday evening, so this morning we are currently in the process of making a referral to get it addressed from what we can do.”
Christian paid a personal visit to the complex along with representatives of the fire marshal’s office. However, he admits that city statutes provide no enforcement leverage to hasten a solution.
“Every time I go out, I know it’s going to take me… 15-20 minutes to get back up the stairs,” said McBeth. “So I try not to go out.”
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