Odessans Angry After Going Weeks Without Utilities

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - After weeks without lights or water, some tenants in Odessa say they're fed up and they claim the owner isn't holding up her part of their lease agreements.

Despite the broken glass, busted windows and abandoned units, some Odessa families are trying to make the Four Oaks Apartments their home, but going weeks without utilities is pushing them too far. Now they want to know why the owner's not taking care of the problem.

"She tries to help us in stuff, some are bad and don't pay rent," Crystal Quiroga, apartment manager and resident, said. "The ones not paying rent, she needs to kick them out, because we're paying the consequences."

When the sun's down, its clear that none of the apartments have electricity. But while some people aren't paying their rent, the ones who are want to know why the utilities they were promised aren't up and running like it says they should be on the second page of their lease agreement.

One mother, didn't want to show her face on camera or give her name, but says living at Four Oaks is unbearable.

"I have two kids and I pay rent by myself and still can't get nothing done," the mother of two said. "I asked for at least hot water (but didn't get it) and the windows are broke and there's no central heating or air."

For as much as $475 a month, residents get a concrete apartment with poor fixtures and at least for the last few weeks, no utilities.

Some say the money they use to live is just going down the drain.

"The money went towards nothing, just some place to lay our head, but not comfortably," the mother of two said.

One woman has bronchitis, but can't do her breathing treatments since there's no electricity so she stopped paying rent.

"I don't understand why we should go through this," Teresa Winfield said. "I mean you can't see at night and it's cold."

Things are bad but residents don't want the apartments to close, they say they just want to live with dignity.

NewsWest 9 called the owner but our calls went unanswered, but the owner told the manager she did not want to comment about the complaints.