Tenants rally for change at apartments failing health and safety codes

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Tenants in north Austin are calling on the city to step in at an apartment complex that’s notorious for code violations.

A group rallied outside of the Creeks Edge Apartments (formerly Cross Creek Apartments) Tuesday evening, holding up signs to draw attention to the issues inside.

A spokeswoman for Austin’s Code Department says right now, there are 37 active code violations at Creeks Edge, two of which have been deemed so dangerous that the people living inside of those apartments affected had to be relocated.

The complex has been listed as a “repeat offender” for code violations since 2014, through several different owners.

Tenants at Tuesday’s rally said they deal with problems like mold, leaking ceilings, electrical issues and roaches.

Austin City Council Member Greg Casar was there, marching with them. He said he hoped the rally would be a wake up call for property management.

“They need to know that we’re really open to them finally coming into compliance, but that on the back end, they could have their license revoked and be asked to no longer rent out open units if they continue to have units that aren’t meeting basic health and safety standards,” Casar said.

“What we need is to have Code Compliance and the Building and Standards Commission to have the will to close these places down for business if they are not going to get off the repeat offender list,” said tenant Stephen Frischmuth. “If they’re not going to improve their properties, if they’re going to run them like slums, they need to be closed down.”

A spokeswoman for the city’s Code Department told KXAN right now, the city is working on finalizing its enforcement criteria for either suspending or revoking apartment complex’s licenses. She told KXAN Creeks Edge would potentially fall under that criteria once it’s finalized. The city could then take action, keeping landlords from renting out any more vacant units as long as they’re out of code. However, people who already live in a complex not in compliance with code wouldn’t be affected.

KXAN reached out to management at Creeks Edge, but hadn’t heard back as of Tuesday evening.

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