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City, nonprofit investigate condemned apartments in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The City of Greensboro has condemned an apartment complex on Floyd Street, and the Greensboro Housing Coalition complains the owner of the complex hasn't made any steps to fix the property.

The city condemned the apartment buildings at 2333 and 2335 Floyd Street on July 16,  after finding 14 violations that ranged from unsanitary conditions, to insect infestation, faulty wiring and lack of smoke detectors in at least one instance.

The residents told the fire department that the faulty wiring had caused repeated electrical shocks over the last two years, and that they were afraid to complain because of a fear of being evicted.

Brett Byerly with the Greensboro Housing Coalition used a different word than the city's designation of substandard and not fit for human habitation

"This is about as bad as it gets, Byerly said.

ARCO Realty owns the property. Irene Agapion said the electrical situation resulted from a lightning strike and disputed claims it was a long-term problem.

"There's an insurance investigation, and Duke [Energy] is also trying to figure out what happened," Agapion said. "And we didn't have any violations before that date."

The city notified ARCO of its housing violations on July 16, and a second investigation on August 15 found no progress in fixing those issues.

Agapion said they had no opportunity to fix anything with the ongoing insurance investigation and the unstable electrical issue.

If the violations persist, ARCO will be called before the Minimal Housing Commission ad forced to either fix the issues or knock the buildings down.

The seven families that lived in the two buildings are now depending on the Red Cross or family for shelter.

Greensboro Housing Coalition also takes issue with the fact that the condemned buildings are still open and accessible, potentially dangerous for kids and open to squatters.

"These places need to be secured," Byerly said. "This is a working class neighborhood, and these people don't deserve to have to look at this. And they shouldn't have to worry about their kids going in there and getting hurt.

Agapion first said she could not board up the buildings because the insurance company needed access during its investigation.

She later emailed to say the buildings would be secured.