Forrester Gardens residents have questions after bills demanding thousands appear on doors

Residents who live at Forrester Gardens apartments in Tuscaloosa have had some major issues with conditions at the complex over the past few months. That was enough of a problem for those who live there, most of whom are on limited incomes, but now they’re facing more frustrations after letters showed up taped to their doors demanding hundreds to thousands of dollars for no detailed reason.

The highest bill WVUA 23 News saw was nearly $7,000. None of the bills contain an explanation or an itemized list of what’s owed and why.

Tenants said this is unreasonable and unwarranted.

“I am an American disabled veteran,” said Forrester Gardens resident Jeanette Washington. “I have lived here with assistance through the Tuscaloosa VA ever since 2015, and according to this letter right here, I owe $6,272.10.”

In April, WVUA 23 published several stories detailing unlivable conditions at Forrester Gardens after residents complained of raw sewage backing up into their sinks alongside mold and other issues.

”More than 4 inches of feces in my bathroom sink and it’s been there for over 12 days,” said Forrester Gardens resident Tina Blair in April. “I have had to get on stomach medicine and stuff because it is making me sick, just the smell.”

Tenants WVUA 23 spoke with Wednesday said nothing’s changed since in. In fact, they said the mold issue is compounding, some units are infested with bugs and they’re worried about the stability of their walls and floors.

When WVUA 23 News Reporter Chelsea Barton asked resident Michael Thomas what it’s like living in the complex, Thomas had a one-word response.

“Hell,” he said.

Thomas has called Forrester Gardens home for about a year, he said. He is disabled, and the conditions are not helping matters.

“I have a wound on my knee where I have to crawl in the bathroom,” Thomas said. “Every time I use the bathroom, every time I have to get in the tub, I have to crawl on my knee, so I have a bruise on my knee. It ain’t good. I already lost one leg. I have diabetes so that ain’t good for me to have these bruises on my leg like this.”

Residents WVUA 23 spoke with said they’ve come up empty when they’ve reached out to apartment staff about the bills that appeared on their doors, and they  have a lot of questions.

“I have not received a ledger or anything saying where these funds accumulated from or what the are,” Washington said. “If I had money like that, I would not have to live in subsidized housing. I am just really traumatized and worried. I don’t know what is going to happen. Are they going to come put my stuff out? I just don’t know what is going on.”

WVUA 23 attempted to contact Forrester Gardens management, but the number listed on the letters residents received appears to be out of service.

Read more:

Categories: Featured, Local News