Residents at two Altman properties join forces to demand answers from management on deteriorating living conditions
Some of the demanded changes include fixing a broken elevator that hasn’t been repaired for two years, building ramps for the disabled, and more security.
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The Save the UC Townhomes Coalition, along with residents from an apartment building overseen by Altman Management, came together for the first time on Thursday, Dec. 22, and protested earlier this afternoon inside a building near 48th and Osage Ave. in West Philly to demand management to address serious issues that according to them, have gone neglected and unchanged.
Present were residents from UC Townhomes and those from a building overseen by Altman Management at 5016 Pine Street.
According to a press release from the coalition, residents at 5016 Pine have been without a working elevator for two years despite many repeated requests for repairs from elderly residents and those with disabilities living on the second, third, and fourth floors, among other issues.
With its location near the University of Pennsylvania, the protest also took aim at the university for its co-management of some properties alongside Altman Management. In the views of those protesting, Penn nor any city officials have taken action to hold Altman accountable for their actions despite repeated complaints and calls from UC Townhomes residents to preserve their property as affordable housing.
Other issues at 5016 Pine include repeated complaints regarding roach and rodent infestation, lack of access for disabled persons, and concerns over building security. Its residents and those from UC Townhomes are asking Altman Management to address these changes or residents to have a clean, and safe housing environment ahead of the holiday season.
The UC Townhomes coalition is also intensifying its calls for action in hopes Altman will preserve affordable housing for residents with housing vouchers at the property at 40th and Market — a powderkeg that’s set off a much larger discussion around affordable housing in Philadelphia.
All of the demands were laid out in a letter meant for Brett Altman of Altman Management, from the coalition and 5016 Pine residents.
They also are calling that Altman immediately have licensed professional repair people to fix neglected issues in regards to plumbing, water damage and other problems that residents have complained about, as well as installing ramps at all entrances of the building and on the first floor so that residents with disabilities have access, in, out, and around the building.
In regards to the aforementioned infestation issues, they look for Altman to conduct monthly fumigations from a hired and licensed exterminator as the building suffers from infestations from roaches, mice, insects and vermin. As a part of it, they are calling for a maintenance person to address repairs and clean the building at least three times per week
The residents building at 5016 Pine St. also have problems in regards to safety and are calling for around the clock security including for all residents, specifically those elderly and disabled. Changes would include installing a call box, giving residents access to all doors and entry points, and securing fire escapes and windows to stop any kind of forced outside entry
The coalition and residents also would like Altman to re-open the laundry room and make it accessible to residents. In addition, many of the residents at the property are on fixed incomes and as a result, are looking for Altman to lower the cost for laundry, which currently sits at $3 per load to wash and to dry.
“The group plans to ask the Property Management company to stop being a ‘grinch’ as they struggle to deal with several quality of life issues just days before the Christmas holiday. Tenants will be giving testimonies and presenting the company with a list of immediate demands, some of which have been ignored for years,” the press release read.
When reached by AL DÍA, Altman Management and IBID declined to comment on the matter.