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Judge Orders Repairs For Substandard Apartments

Tana Weingartner

In a win for residents, a Hamilton County Common Pleas judge has ordered five apartment complexes into receivership. That means badly needed repairs may finally start to get made by a court-appointed management company.The City of Cincinnati sued the complex owners, the Puretz family and their partners, for more than 1,800 health and safety violations, along with an increase in criminal activity. In December, Judge Beth Myers to declared the properties a nuisance, allowing for Monday's ruling.

Milhaus Management will oversee repairs at the Alms Hill Apartments in Walnut Hills, Entowne Manor in North Avondale, Burton Estates in North Avondale, Reeds Valley in Westwood, and Shelton Gardens in Westwood.

City of Cincinnati attorney Mark Manning says the ruling will point about $1.4 million toward the repairs, along with roughly $270,000 in monthly payments from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A sixth complex, St. Claire Manor in Avondale, has been separated out but Josh Spring with Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition says a lawsuit is still in the works.

As WVXU reported in September:

Problems include faulty exposed wiring, cracked walls, missing smoke detectors, bedbugs, mold, roaches, and water damage. Charles Williams lives at Entowne Manor. "We're crying out for help," he says. "There's a lot of elderly people in there and there's a lot of things they need fixed and they're not fixing them." Residents also say they're scared for their lives because outsiders are getting inside the buildings and causing problems.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.