Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here .
DENVER — It’s been one month without relief for a young family living without a working air conditioning unit in their Denver apartment. Hailey Estrada and her husband Nick Sanders called Contact7 to try and get answers from the TAVA Waters apartment and townhome complex management.
"I don't want to use my oven, my dishwasher, my stove. Anything that will make this place like one degree hotter," said Estrada."We can’t get any answers from anybody. They just keep telling us someone's coming. Someone's coming."
Sometimes the heat is just unbearable for their toddler son, who they say breaks out in heat rashes.
"We have to send our son Bohde away some days because it’s just so unsafe for him here," said Estrada.
Estrada and Sanders have lived at the complex for several years, including when it was under different ownership and management, through what they thought was the worst of it. Denver7 spoke to residents in 2016 about a rat infestation that ruined cars and angered tenants. Estrada and Sanders did not personally experience the rat problem.
But now the chain of emails go on and on, filled with excuses for this family stuck in the heat. There were some apologies but no real explanation until a letter was sent to residents.
"They gutted the staff. Downsized the staff by at least half, if not more, and now the repercussions of that are being seen," said Sanders.
A Google search shows several complaints of broken AC units and poor management response.
The couple would leave but can’t afford a new lease, so Denver7 tried to get some answers from the general manager, Marta Butler.
"As you know we are experiencing a heat wave in Denver and across Colorado which puts a lot of pressure on HVAC systems, not just at TAVA Waters but at home and residential properties citywide. HVAC service providers are therefore extremely busy, and we are doing our best to ensure all HVAC systems are dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible," said Butler.
Butler would not answer any questions outside of her given statement.
So for now, they will try and stick it out but hopes someone does something soon.
"I feel disrespected and unimportant, and that is a really horrible feeling," said Estrada.