Tenants spend 11 days without electricity in the Bas Alger building

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Residents of a building in Bas-Alger say they were abandoned after Hurricane Ida cut power, and the property manager has offered little to no help to some 40 low-income residents. Many are elderly and suffer from acute health problems that were exacerbated by the scorching heat that followed the storm. Electricity was restored on Thursday, but people who suffered in the heat are asking for answers. Residents depended on volunteers from the local community who brought them food, water and ice. Some of the volunteers had been inside the apartments in the building and shared videos that showed water on the floor and leaks around window sills. The owner has not been here, not one day. We were out of light and everything for 10 days, and she’s going to come here today to say she wants rent, ”said Yolanda Lewis, a resident. National Baptist Housing and Economic Development owns Boyd Manor. Its chairman is local pastor Willie Gable, who told WDSU Investigates that a Tennessee-based company, Taliafaro Inc., manages all of its buildings. Gable said he evacuated New Orleans for the hurricane and had not been to Boyd Manor since the storm. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has funded Boyd Manor and pays 70% of the rent to tenants, who are to be considered low income. This meant that the residents did not have the means to evacuate themselves. Rosalind Swinger, a representative for Taliafaro Inc., told WDSU that residents of Boyd Manor had received information to arrange their evacuation through the town’s 311 service. Only one resident chose this option, Swinger said. The on-site manager has been at the Boyd Manor every day since Hurricane Ida and has brought food and water to residents, Swinger said. Residents dispute this claim, saying volunteers and board member Kristen Palmer have been their only sources of help. A resident said the manager “slipped through the back door”. David Jones II, with community group Algiers Proud, said conditions at Boyd Manor were substandard before the hurricane. He, too, said property management was absent in the aftermath of the storm. Swinger said Taliafaro would send staff to Boyd Manor to do a building damage assessment. This process was hampered by the lack of electricity, she added. No time frame was given for repairs, but Swinger said contractors would be hired if the damage was significant. Residents should not be required to pay their share of the rent immediately after the hurricane, Swinger said, adding that she was unaware that the on-site property manager had urged tenants to pay. She also said she was not aware of residents’ claims that issues such as mold and leaks were present before the storm.

Residents of a building in Bas-Alger say they were abandoned after Hurricane Ida cut power, and the property manager has offered little to no help to some 40 low-income residents. Many are elderly and suffer from acute health problems that were exacerbated by the scorching heat that followed the storm.

Electricity was restored on Thursday, but people who suffered in the heat are asking for answers.

“We’ve been through a lot of pain and suffering, we couldn’t sleep, we never slept or nothing, man,” said Tyrone Webber, a resident of Boyd Manor.

Residents, they depended on volunteers from the local community who brought them food, water and ice. Some of the volunteers had been inside the apartments in the building and shared videos that showed water on the floor and leaks around the window sills.

Volunteers made patchwork repairs, but residents say they haven’t heard from the property manager about long-term solutions.

“The landlord hasn’t come here, not one day. We were out of light and everything for 10 days, and she’s going to come here today to say she wants rent,” said Yolanda Lewis, a resident.

National Baptist Housing and Economic Development owns Boyd Manor. Its chairman is local pastor Willie Gable, who told WDSU Investigates that a Tennessee-based company, Taliafaro Inc., manages all of its buildings.

Gable said he evacuated New Orleans for the hurricane and had not been to Boyd Manor since the storm.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has funded Boyd Manor and pays 70% of the rent to tenants, who are to be considered low income. This meant that residents did not have the means to evacuate on their own.

Rosalind Swinger, a representative for Taliafaro Inc., told WDSU that residents of Boyd Manor had received information to arrange their evacuation through the town’s 311 service. Only one resident chose this option, Swinger said.

The on-site manager has been at the Boyd Manor every day since Hurricane Ida and has brought food and water to residents, Swinger said. Residents dispute this claim, saying volunteers and board member Kristen Palmer have been their only sources of help. A resident said the manager “slipped through the back door”.

David Jones II, with community group Algiers Proud, said conditions at Boyd Manor were substandard before the hurricane. He, too, said property management was absent in the aftermath of the storm.

Swinger said Taliafaro would send staff to Boyd Manor to do a building damage assessment. This process was hampered by the lack of electricity, she added. No timeline has been given for when the repairs will be made, but Swinger said contractors will be hired if the damage is significant.

Residents should not be required to pay their share of the rent immediately after the hurricane, Swinger said, adding that she was unaware that the on-site property manager had pressed tenants to pay. She also said she was not aware of residents’ claims that issues such as mold and leaks were present before the storm.


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