Statesman.com investigates a problem that appears to never have been solved.
June 1997, the apartments at 1900 Burton Drive were known as the
Hilltop Apartments and were the site of falling down balconies, doors
that didn't have working locks, and huge holes in tenants' ceilings from
water leaks. Mold abounded, some residents hadn't had hot water in a
year and the gas had been turned off for up to six week stretches. On
top of this, crime was rampant with drug dealers and evidence of drug
use in and around the apartments.
After code inspectors and
police raided the Hilltop Apartments that time, the California tax
attorney who owned the property was given until the end of the year to
clean up his property. By February 1998, the work still had not been
done and a week later, the owner filed for bankruptancy in California.
Tenants won a lawsuit in 1998 and each received a $5,000 check. The
property was sold and living conditions seemed to have improved, at
least based on the fact that housing advocates received less complaint
However, after the walkways collapsed this May,
investigators found out that the construction was never inspected, a
process that would have revealed the improper design and construction
that eventually caused their collapse. While almost 90 building permits
were requested between 1998 and 2007, those permits were never
inspected or finalized.
The current owners of 1900 Burton Drive
have been given 75 days to make the needed repairs, but have asked for
an extension to 120 days. Time will tell whether the infamous address
will finally be fixed properly, or whether future residents, many of
whom are afraid to speak out because it is so difficult to find
affordable housing in central Austin or for fear of deportation, will
continue to have to live in deplorable conditions.
An apartment locator knows what complexes are well maintained and which landlords respect their tenants. Call Apartment Specialists today and let us help you find an apartment you will love to call home.
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