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Westwood renters call conditions 'unlivable'

Posted at 12:28 AM, Nov 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-19 00:28:22-05

CINCINNATI -- Kimberly Griffin has been living at the Valley Woods Apartments in Westwood since April.

It was a good place when she moved in, she said.

"At first, we had white carpet -- it was nice," Griffin said. "And then all of a sudden, the water and everything -- all the damages started."

Within a month of living there, Griffin said, water started seeping into the unit, causing mold and a noticeable stench of mildew.

"It's really unlivable," Griffin said.

Across the complex, Erica Beauchamp's walls were bubbling. In the corner of her apartment, there was so much damage to the wall that wire mesh showed through them. There was also a hole where Beauchamp said rodents have crept in.

"Now we got our own little homemade traps made just to try and catch them," Beauchamp said.

Cincinnati code enforcement records show inspectors have been called to the complex several times in recent years, investigating reports of mice, roaches, leaks, mold and apartments lacking functional smoke detectors.

Ashley Auciello, spokeswoman for the Cincinnati Health Department, said an inspector visited Valley Woods on Wednesday, ordering the complex's owner to fix the building's foundation. As of Wednesday morning, the carpet had been replaced, Auciello said, and there was no visible mold.

About 95 to 97 percent of cases get resolved with orders from the city, Auciello said.

Griffin fears it won't be enough.

"I don't really have anywhere to go, but I can't stay here -- I can't live here," she said.