BROOKSVILLE, Fla. - Some tenants at a brand new low income apartment complex in Brooksville, say they’ve been living there without hot water for months.
Racina Zieschang moved into the new income-based Freedom Gardens Apartments on July 31. She was excited to have an affordable 3-bedroom apartment for her family, but she says it's been a nightmare ever since.
"Two floods, we’ve not had hot water since I moved in, the property manager got arrested for stealing all of our rent."
Maria Marriage who managed Freedom Gardens was arrested in October for stealing more than $45,000 from the complex. But Zieschang says trouble started months before that.
"A water main broke and flooded a three bedroom, two bath apartment about 6 inches deep. Ruined everything."
Zieschang said when Irma flooded her apartment a second time, the complex fixed most of the damage but never finished the work.
"I have three kids and two of them are young and I have exposed wires."
Zieschang's neighbor Gertrude Mobley has also been living for months without hot water.
Mobley said, "I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with the complex because of the water."
We reached out to the property owners looking for answers. Housing Trust Group gave us a statement:
"Ownership has been made aware of the situation regarding water temperature and pressure within a few select apartments at the newly constructed Freedom Gardens. The plumber has already been out to the property and is there on site now working to remedy the matter. The comfort and safety of our residents is paramount to ownership and we are actively working with the plumbing contractor to resolve the issue. Ownership, HTG Management and Hennessy Construction Services (the general contractor for Freedom Gardens) are all fully committed to promptly addressing and resolving this matter and any other issues which may arise from time to time. Freedom Gardens' grand opening was August 23rd, and the property’s apartments have been rapidly leased, helping to alleviate the severe shortage of affordable housing throughout the State of Florida. The award-winning Housing Trust Group is not only Florida’s largest builder of affordable housing, it is fully committed to the well-being of its residents, and the long-term sustainability of its communities."
The owners say the hot water issue should be fixed next week.