‘I’m stuck here on the second floor’: Broken apartment elevator wreaks havoc

Click to play video: 'Broken apartment elevator leaving tenants with mobility challenges trapped'
Broken apartment elevator leaving tenants with mobility challenges trapped
WATCH: Residents of a south-side Lethbridge apartment building are speaking out as their patience wears thin over a broken elevator. It remains unclear when a repair can be completed. As Jaclyn Kucey reports, it’s left some tenants trapped on their floor for nearly a month with no end in sight – Mar 22, 2023

Residents of the Applewood Avenue Living Apartment in Lethbridge are dealing with the challenges of a broken elevator — again.

“I’m stuck here on the second floor,” said Nancy Panting, a tenant who lives with mobility issues. She relies on the elevator a lot, but last month, the 50-year-old lift conked out for the second time in three years.

“I was in the elevator when it broke and it just crashed. That was it — lights out,” said April Coster who also has limited mobility.

Coster was stuck in the elevator for two hours when it broke down until a neighbour finally heard her calls for help.

She said the building owner didn’t even acknowledge the issue until two weeks later when a notice showed up on her door.

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“They didn’t come tell us or nothing, talk, nothing, just a big empty notice,” Coster said.

While Coster risks falling down the stairs, Panting can’t even attempt it, and said her doctor is growing more concerned about her well-being.

“I’m not able to go down to do my laundry,” she said. “They may not allow me to stay here health-wise if we don’t do something and this is my home.”

In a statement to Global News, Avenue Living said: “Our team is committed to resident safety and this situation was prioritized as soon as it occurred. This building is a recent acquisition and we have continued to invest in improvements to align with our operational standards. It has been difficult to procure the necessary parts to deliver an immediate resolution for this elevator.”

It continued to say building administration understands the inconvenience and is working with tenants to provide updates and hands-on assistance, including running errands and taking out the garbage.

“We have been responsive to each resident’s unique needs and have offered personalized support through this inconvenient time,” the statement reads.

Stuck in her suite, Panting has been getting her groceries delivered, using a crocheted pully system to get them up to the second floor.

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She said Avenue Living has been a fair landlord for the 19 years she’s lived there and she appreciates its support. However, she said, “I really think we need a rent reduction if we’re not going to be able to have the facilities and having to pay to get other people to help do things for us.”

Elvis Bearchell moved out right after the elevator broke and had to haul his belongings down from the third floor.

“The last time the elevator broke, it was three months to get a button and now they have to make a part,” Bearchell said.

With no firm timeline, all residents can do now is wait it out until a repair is made.

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