Fox 8 Defenders: New Orleans councilman angry about Parc Fontaine conditions
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A former employee of the Parc Fontaine apartment complex in Algiers says she’s seen firsthand horrible living conditions for tenants.
When expectant mom Fruge Robinson walks into her bathroom, she sees a gaping hole and dripping water.
“You’re seeing a whole bunch of mold. It has a mold-like smell to it,” Robinson said. “As you can see, it’s still dripping.”
Robinson said that on Sunday, her ceiling gave way.
“I was in the bathroom and the ceiling just fell down. It fell down completely on top of me,” she said.
Robinson says she reported the issues to Parc Fontaine management.
“I even sent them the little note from my doctor requesting that if this cannot be fixed, can I be placed in another apartment? They still haven’t gotten back to me,” Robinson said.
On top of the hole in the ceiling, Robinson says she hasn’t had working air conditioning or heat for a year.
New Orleans City Councilman Freddie King says some of the conditions he’s witnessed at Parc Fontaine in recent weeks are simply unacceptable.
“If you can’t be a responsible property owner, then you shouldn’t have the property,” King said. “I walked around. I saw the green pool that’s full. You can look at the security gates. They don’t open or close like they’re supposed to.”
A former employee of the complex, who doesn’t want to be identified, said she’s seen it all.
“They called me, like their apartment was leaking, the roofs were leaking. When it would rain, they would get water inside their units. Their carpet would get wet. They had mold. They had some people growing mushrooms inside their unit and I know because I went to a couple of them,” the former employee said.
She says the backlog of service orders that needed to be dealt with was long.
“I was feeling so bad for them because there was nothing that I can really do,” the woman stated.
FOX 8 DEFENDERS
We first told you about the problems at Parc Fontaine earlier this year. At the time, our stories focused on The Willows in New Orleans East, owned by Global Ministries Foundation, a religious non-profit out of Tennessee.
Global Ministries also owns a majority of Parc Fontaine. Code enforcement is familiar with the property.
“It’s the same kind of story. Probably eight or nine cases, complaints we’ve received in the past few years,” the head of Code Enforcement, Thomas Mulligan said in June.
The CEO of Global Ministries is Dr. Richard Hamlet, an ordained minister.
“I feel like he’s a slumlord, because the same thing is going on at The Willows and the same thing is being done at Parc Fontaine,” the former employee at Parc Fontaine says.
Creston Delay had water running through his Parc Fontaine apartment. He said it had been that way for months until he told management he’d done an interview with Fox 8 and got moved to a clean unit.
Now, as people like Robinson struggle to figure out where they’ll go for a safe place to call home, Councilman King vows to fight for change.
“I’m just hopeless, I have no one to depend on or no one that cares for the residents of this community,” Robinson said.
“I’m not going to stand for it,” King said. “I grew up in this Algiers area. This used to be a really nice place to live.”
And King has a message for the CEO of Global Ministries.
“We’re going to be paying attention to it very closely and we’re going to bring them before code enforcement and have more code enforcement sweeps until they get the message,” King said. “Whether fix it up or get rid of the property.”
We asked Hamlet and Global Ministries for comment. A spokesperson referred us to the regional property manager for both Parc Fontaine and The Willows. We have yet to receive a response.
If you have a consumer complaint you’d like us to look into, call the Fox 8 Defenders, staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women at 1-877-670-6397. Or click here to fill out our online complaint form, which is the easiest way to reach us.
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