The walls of Ann Marie Romero’s one-bedroom apartment in Northeast Austin are speckled with mold. She hasn’t lived there since mid-February, when pipes burst because of freezing temperatures, soaking much of her furniture and clothes.
Romero has been sleeping on friends’ sofas; this week she’ll tally her fifth couch in two months.
“I’m still very much living in survival mode,” she said Saturday, as a group of her fellow tenants gathered in protest outside their apartment complex, Mueller Flats. Residents say property managers have failed to make repairs or provide accommodations for nearly 200 renters living with mold on their walls and holes in their ceilings.
Austin’s Code Department said it has confirmed 120 instances where the landlord has violated city code, all related to the winter storm. The property management company, Firmus Management, did not respond to an email from KUT. No one answered the phone at the leasing office and the voicemail box was full.