Seniors ask for help as trash piles up in apartment building

Smells sicken many in subsidized apartments
Posted at 9:07 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 23:07:37-04

DENVER -- Seniors and disabled people living in a Denver government-subsidized apartment building pled for help after trash piled up inside.

Courthouse Square Apartments, 901 West 14th Avenue is a Section 8 housing building with 157 units focusing on seniors.

"The floor started smelling like trash and people literally started getting sick to their stomachs," said Stephanie Oakes, who shot cell phone video as disabled residents shoveled debris from the trash room over the weekend. "It was piled up the trash chute all the way to the fifth floor."

Pilar Valverde, who has lived there for 17 years, showed us the trash room, which was once again overflowing,  the trash chute filled to the third floor.

"It smells like a dead body to me. They haven't come since Wednesday. It's been six days and this should be taken out every day." said Valverde. "How would you like to live or your mother living in here in this filth? Roaches were attacking the guys that were trying to shovel this out."

But odor and roaches weren't the only concern.

"Somebody throws a cigarette butt in there — poof!" said Ed Romero, a longtime resident who pitched in to clean out the trash room. "You got a fire hazard, environmental hazard, health hazard."

Valverde and others afraid to be identified said PK Management took over the building about a year ago and has not been responsive to calls and complaints.

"They get good money from the government, plus the rent," she said. "But they just told us maintenance was on vacation again."

So Denver7 called and paid a visit to the Denver office, where we were told a corporate spokeswoman in Ohio would call us back.

No one returned the call, but within the hour, a group of men showed up at the complex to clean out the trash room.

"Thank you so much for getting action," said Valverde. "We couldn't get it done. It's too bad."


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.