SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — With hot and dangerous heat waves, there have been concerns with some Savannah Gardens Apartments occupied units having reportedly broken air conditioner units. 

“I was without air for five days,” said a woman who has lived at the apartments for 3 years. She chose not to identify herself because she fears retaliation.  

The resident, who has children in her care as young as a year old has also had other issues with the complex.

Apartment air conditioning units at Savannah Gardens Apartments. (Photo by Hollie Lewis).

“I’ve got live active mold in my apartment, it’s very bad. I’ve put many work orders in, they complain that it’s COVID, they can’t come in the house. The only time they get the job done is when corporate is in the building. See, they’ve been running around all week getting things done because corporate is here. If corporate wasn’t here, they wouldn’t care.

A woman in the Savannah Gardens Apartment office said she was the property manager but declined to say her name said, “I can tell you, anyone that has not had air, we provided them with a portable until the parts have been ordered.”

She continued, “Like I tell anyone, the whole wide world is short staffed. So, I mean, we can’t just leave people without A/C, portables are given but we only have a number of two people without ac right now but that’s because of parts and with COVID, things are on backorder. They have a portable in their unit. So, they don’t have a unit where they are burning up with no air.”

Savannah Gardens Apartments. (Photo by Hollie Lewis)

When asked what type of portables residents are given when their air conditioner breaks the manager said they are ones that go into windows that cool one room. For cooling other rooms in the apartment such as bedrooms she said they have ceiling fans.

When asked how long it typically takes for an air conditioning unit to be fixed the property manager said, “I can’t really give a number, we’re acting on any work order that comes in from the resident as soon as possible. If there’s a part that has to be ordered, I can’t really give you a detailed number of how many days or whatever, it depends on the situation of the A/C.”

When the resident was asked if she received a portable air conditioner she said, “No, they didn’t give me anything.”

Another resident was asked if she had issues with her air conditioning unit that went unresolved. She nodded her head and then said, “I don’t want to share any details because I have to live here.”

A third resident, who said that she would like to stay anonymous for fear of being retaliated against, stated, “The property managers and staff are very rude and disrespectful. I have been staying in Savannah Gardens for 3 years and I have 2 small children and we were without air for 6 months. I’ve always had a/c issues since I moved into Savannah Gardens.”

She continued, “My a/c unit went completely out in February 2022. I would call the office to put in work orders and nothing would be done. It took them 3 months to provide me with a portable unit. I got the portable unit an May 2022. After about a month of having the portable unit I called and the staff would tell me that I have a portable unit and that it would get me and my children over the hump until they could fix it.”.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during 2018–2020, a total of 3,066 heat-related deaths occurred. The highest percentage of heat-related deaths occurred among people aged 55–64 years (19%).

The CDC says that people at greatest risk for heat-related illness include infants and children up to 4 years old; people 65 years of age and older; people who are overweight or have existing medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease; people who are socially isolated; and the poor.

Savannah Garden Apartments are a Mercy Housing, community that gives a home to low-income families, seniors, individuals and people with special needs.

WSAV has reached out to Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryant, who said she is aware that there are units without air at the complex and she is looking into it. WSAV will follow up with updates to this story.