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Code violation suit against Trendwood slows because of COVID-19 risk with inspections

Code violation suit against Trendwood slows because of COVID-19 risk with inspections

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Parts of a city lawsuit seeking to force improvements at a federally subsidized apartment complex in East Waco are on hold because of COVID-19.

The legal action against Trendwood Apartments, 1700 Dallas Circle, is continuing, but a final inspection involving city workers checking on progress in the complex’s 157 apartments is on hold as a precaution against the novel coronavirus, Assistant City Attorney David Shaw said.

“We’ve been pushing inspection dates and we will probably have to do that again as the next inspection date is Tuesday,” Shaw said. “We will likely go inspect the exterior, but city staff is not comfortable going room to room to room, and that’s been the thing all along. We don’t know when it will be safe going into people’s homes right now.”

James Lee Jr., first vice president of the Carver Neighborhood Association said all Waco residents deserve to live in a safe, healthy environment.

“The neighborhood association strongly believes every citizen who resides in the neighborhood association should have adequate housing,” Lee said. “We support the residents over there (at Trendwood) with their complaints, and we share concerns that those issues should be remedied.”

He said the association has extended invitations to representatives of Trendwood and other apartment complexes in the neighborhood, but they have not participated in association meetings. Trendwood, owned by Dallas-based Trendwood Investors LLC, has a contract through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program to screen and qualify resident on-site to receive housing assistance based on income.

Shaw said there have been visible improvements at Trendwood since the city filed the suit in November, threatening fines of up to $1,000 per day of continued code violations in 44 categories. City inspectors reported identifying an array of violations in August last year, and the city claimed in the lawsuit that the violations had not been addressed.

“Structures are so insanitary as to be unfit for human occupancy,” the lawsuit states. “Structures and exterior property are not kept free from rodent harborage and infestation.”

Other violations included roof drains and downspouts that are not maintained, addresses that are not properly listed and visible from the street, handrails that are not properly fastened in place and interior surfaces, including windows and doors that are not maintained in good condition, the lawsuit states.

Trendwood management did not respond to calls seeking comment, and Dallas attorney Marcus Fettinger, who is representing the complex, did not respond to calls and an email last week seeking comment.

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