People Protest Brooklyn Center Apartments, Owners Dispute Claims
Protesters gathered at a Brooklyn Center apartment complex Tuesday to voice concerns over what they call “deplorable living conditions.”
Chanting “slum lords, slum lords,” demonstrators stood outside the rental office of Gateway Commons Apartments. Police eventually showed up and told them to leave. The group then moved to another location. Organizers of the protest say many immigrants live in the apartments and are afraid to speak up.
“There’s been a lot of complaints about mice poop in people’s food, roaches infestation, emergency calls at night going unanswered,” said organizer Pastor Harding Smith.
“We have written this management, and they are not taking any action to the deplorable conditions that the tenants are living in this residence,” said Abraham Brima Bah, chair of the Organization of Liberians-Minnesota.
Apartment Manager Disputes Claims
Apartment manager Mark Mahoney sent CCX News the following statement:
We have no idea why a group of non-tenants would choose to protest outside our apartments, but their agenda is not based on the facts. The facts are that we’re proud of Gateway Commons, of the work we’ve done to upgrade and maintain the property and the support we have among our residents. The protestors have yet to provide our office, nor the governing agency which oversees our due diligence, the City of Brooklyn Center Housing and Community Standards Department, any specific units or tenants that feel that our work is substandard.”
Brooklyn Center Housing Record
According to Brooklyn Center rental housing officials, the city received two complaints regarding this property last year and two this year. All complaints have been closed out and require no additional action, city officials said.
• In 2019, two complaints were received. On May 7, a complaint was made to the city about roaches, mice, a flooded ground level unit and exposed electrical wires in the parking lot. The city conducted a site visit on the day the complaint was received and met with the property manager. During the site visit, staff was informed that there are no known units with active pest concerns. However, the city determined the property has a contract with a pest control company that does regular treatments at the property. The property manager also stated that no reports of flooding of any of the units had been received. City staff did identify exposed wires in the parking lot and wrote a correction order for this item. Staff went out on May 21 and verified that the wires were capped.
The other complaint was on April 6 relating to maintenance items in a single unit. The inspection noted six violations including an inoperable window, removal of a non-connected AC unit stored in the living room, window caulking, a cracked light globe, cracked/damaged flooring guard, and a hole in the bathroom ceiling. A follow-up inspection noted the violation had been corrected.
• In 2018, two complaints were received about spiders and mold at the same unit on Jan. 26, 2018 and Feb. 7, 2018. The inspector noted mildew or mold under a sink and gave orders to have it corrected. A follow-up inspection noted the violation had been fixed.
• In 2017, one complaint was received relating to maintenance items in a bathroom. Orders were written for the bathtub faucet, smoke alarm in the hallway, and a light fixture globe. A follow-up inspection noted the violation had been corrected.
Brummer management company also owns River Glen and Humboldt Courts apartments in Brooklyn Center.