The other day I filed a report from Wood Ridge apartments, the site of a balcony collapse about a month ago. After the massive inspection of the property, code enforcement found a total of 760 code violations at the apartment complex. Though the video which YNN created uses some footage from Occupy Austin (we got onto the property while the media was kept outside), the angle of the story seems strange to me:
A resident YNN spoke with says she welcomes the inspections, and the negative attention at Wood Ridge is not a fair representation of the overall complex.
“In a place like this you don’t expect everything to be fixed on the spot. But I haven’t had anything to have fixed,” Wood Ridge resident Linda Foss said.
According to city officials, all the complaints issued Wednesday were common violations like missing smoke alarms or electrical problems.
Linda Foss calls the code enforcement visit a ‘witch hunt,’ as if it were somehow unfair to the poor, long suffering property managers at Assets Plus to force them to uphold the law. In a way it might be unfair — one can almost certainly find other properties with unstable balconies and stairs, life threatening wiring problems, and other dangerous violations within walking distance in Wood Ridge poor, working-class neighborhood. Meanwhile, Wood Ridge residents have 40 year old air conditioners while the city brass overseeing inspections sit in an expensive command post trailer so cold it made me shiver in the Texas sun when the doors opened.
I feel like expectations have been lowered about what we deserve. You look at a place like Wood Ridge and you can genuinely say it could be much worse — after all, we could live in New York City. But does that make it good? Should we accept this as our lot in life, or is it possible we could make life better if we stop accepting the status quo?
Because, to quote Doctor Horrible, the status is not quo.
That’s what’s on my mind tonight. How about you? This is our latest open thread.