Disabled renter complains about broken apartment elevator in metro Atlanta

Columbia Residential has fixed the elevator
Disabled renter complains about broken apartment elevator
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 6:46 PM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 12:12 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A metro Atlanta woman encountered a serious issue during a medical emergency on Friday.

Hattie Lester lives on the second floor of the Columbia at Mechanicsville Station apartments and currently, she is wheelchair bound and there is no working elevator in her building.

Natasha Miller is Hattie’s daughter. She said the broken elevator has been an ongoing issue since her mother moved in about three years ago.

“The elevator has been a frequent issue where it continues to break down,” Miller said. “We did see the notices up saying they are sorry for the inconvenience. When I do call the office myself, they tell me they’re sorry for the inconvenience, but their hands are tied.”

On Friday, Hattie suffered a medical emergency and paramedics had to carry her down 25 steps just to get her to an ambulance.

“She was very uncomfortable as you can see in the video. She just kept saying don’t drop me, don’t drop me, please don’t drop me,” Miller said.

According to the American Disabilities Act, building owners have a responsibility to repair broken elevators promptly. Otherwise, they could be in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The family said they have asked the property manager to fix the problem and have been told it could take a couple of months to get the elevator working again.

So, Atlanta News First went to the resident’s office to question management, but they locked the door, called security, and hid from our camera.

“We just want some sense of urgency in this being repaired,” Miller said.

Atlanta News First called the local office after they locked us out and were told they were meeting about the issue.

On Saturday, Columbia Residential sent out the following statement, adding that they:

Columbia Residential fixed the broken elevator
Columbia Residential fixed the broken elevator(Columbia Residential)

Columbia Residential adds that they have retained a local elevator service provider to perform scheduled maintenance on elevators at Mechanicsville Station, citing supply chain issues as a contributor to the delay to address repair needs.

Property management told Atlanta News First they are making every effort to provide assistance to residents with mobility issues while the elevators are being repaired.