Attorney: Tenants of Johnston apartment complex ‘trying to move goal posts’

News

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Heather Argenti and her family have been living out of a hotel room for 10 months while a mold infestation is being remediated from the Johnston apartment complex where she resides.

She said her family would rather stay at the hotel than move back into the Park Plaza Apartments.

Argenti is among 80 other tenants who have filed an emergency injunction asking to stay in the hotels at the property owner’s expense.

On Monday, a few tenants brought Eyewitness News inside their apartments to see their concerns first hand. The tenants claim their apartments still have mold and aren’t finished.

An attorney for the property owner, Stay Away From The Cans LLC, said they’ve done what was asked of them and note that a town building official already signed off on 27 completed apartments. The official tells Eyewitness News the apartments met the minimum standard by law.

Argenti said her apartment isn’t finished yet.

“I’m not saying it needs to be the Taj Mahal but should we have holes in our walls? Should we have holes in our floors?” she said.

She said because it is federally-subsidized housing, most of the tenants can’t move somewhere else.

“If I move, I might lose by subsidy,” she explained.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said all of the apartments will be ready by the end of the month. The property owner’s attorney said the tenants are now trying to “move the goal posts.”

“We’re fighting for what should be deemed acceptable,” Argenti argued.

The emergency injunction will be heard Wednesday in Johnston Municipal Court. Several tenants tell Eyewitness News their hotel reservations end on June 12 and they’re hoping it will be extended past that.

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