ST. LOUIS – A desperate tenant called FOX 2 for help after pipes in her government-subsidized apartment burst, flooding the upstairs and downstairs of the unit. Ceilings collapsed in at least two rooms, and the flooding has left an awful stench in her home on Thomas Street.
Torreese Valentine says she received no help from apartment owners JVL 16, which has offices in south St. Louis.
After striking out with the landlord and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Valentine contacted our You Paid For It team. HUD pays more than $1,200 a month in rent for the apartment. Valentine says she’s unsure what to do.
“It really makes me want to cry. I don’t want my kids in this predicament. Would you all want to stay here while you all got four small kids?” she said. “Like, it’s ridiculous. When would anybody want to stay here while it’s molded, it’s nasty, the stench in here is, like, it makes my head hurt.”
Valentine sought help in getting a hotel room for herself and her children, but the landlord turned her down.
“They said it’s still livable. I could still stay here while it’s being worked on. And nobody has still came out to work on it, and It’s been a week since the flood happened,” she said.
FOX 2 went to the landlord’s office, but no one opened the door. We also contacted HUD and are still waiting to hear from them, too. But at the moment, Valentine isn’t sure what else she can do.
“It’s like, they don’t come out to fix anything, they don’t do anything, they take their time. You put in a work order, they’re still going to take their time,” she said. “Nobody has still been out here since the flood happened Sunday. This is not a place where little kids supposed to grow up—in filth—at home. It’s not comfortable.”
The regional manager for JVL 16 finally called FOX 2 provided the following statement over the phone: “Unfortunately, due to confidentiality with our resident, the only information I can share is that the issue is being addressed.”
A HUD spokesman in Kansas City sent this reply: “I’m passing along your questions to our housing team to look into the address you shared from JVL, but we won’t be able to get back to you with a comment tonight.”