River Gardens Renters Protest Against Property Management
“Jim crow must go,” demonstrators shouted. “Jim crow must go.”
They are feed up, and fired up.
“No more dictatorship,” demonstrators continued.
Low income renters at River Garden Apartments raised their voices and took to the streets of the Lower Garden District.
What they didn’t say verbally, their signs said it for them.
Simply put, they’re dissatisfied with management.
“It’s time to stop being silent,” one renter said. “It’s time to voice your opinion and let everybody know what’s going on in here.”
Among top complaints, residents say there’s a general disrespect by management toward low income tenants.
They also say management uses harassment and intimidation tactics, which have resulted in widespread evictions.
“It’s really just been a mess. It’s just really amazing some of the things that are going on with management,” Darlene Curington said.
Darlene Curington believes property managers are looking for reasons to push out low-rent tenants; to make room for tenants willing to pay market rate for the renovated apartments.
“I mean you know we all know these areas, they’re buying up,” Curtington said. “They’re re-doing them; they don’t want us back here.” “But we have a right to be here.” “We were here before they even did all this here.”
“Our goal is not to get people out,” HIR Management Spokesman David Abbenante said. “Our goal is to get people in and keep them in.”
But tenants have a different story about one particular member of management.
“She don’t want to hear the other side, she don’t want to hear no explanation,” one renter explained.
“Terry needs to go, terry needs to go,” demonstrators shouted.
Management says their team tries to workout issues before it comes to eviction, but ultimately a judge makes the final decision.
“Unfortunately there are times where it’s going to end up where some people have to part ways,” Abbenante said.
Property managers say they are committed to improving communication with renters to make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the rules and regulations.