Forrester Gardens tenants out of bad conditions, but bouncing between motels
Some tenants in Forrester Gardens Apartments have been moving from motel to motel week after week after suffering from residents said are unlivable conditions at their homes.
Lavondria Davis and her mother live at the apartment complex and said unsafe and unsanitary conditions forced them out.
The leasing office has been moving them into motels around Tuscaloosa, Davis said, and bouncing around at their landlord’s whim is making life difficult.
“(Forrester Gardens residents) don’t have money to buy food or maintain their everyday life,” Davis said. “They did at home because they were dependent on their (SNAP benefits) and things like that where they can cook. I just want to have an adequate place to cook.”
Davis said her mother is diabetic and needs to eat regularly. Without a proper kitchen, that’s a tall order. It’s hard for parents with children, too, said fellow Forrester Gardens resident Veronica Peoples.
“We’re out here at the motel right now and it’s hard to keep food when you have kids,” Peoples said.
Some tenants said their living conditions were so bad they’re not sure if they can stomach returning.
“I don’t want to go back but I don’t have a choice because I have kids,” said Forrester Gardens resident Tyanna Swanigan.
WVUA 23 previously reported how several tenants complained about the living conditions at Forrester Gardens, with residents saying they’ve been forced to contend with raw sewage flowing out of their sinks alongside mold, mildew and shoddy maintenance.
“Staying out there I just feel like I’m on punishment, you know,” said resident Chris Taylor. “It used to be good but now it’s like they’re not doing their job. Everybody’s toilets are messed up, ceilings are leaking and (maintenance is) taking weeks and months. They need to hurry up.”
Several residents said their belongings are still in their apartment. They haven’t yet heard when they can go back or whether they’ll first be moving into yet another motel.