TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tenants of an apartment complex in the Town of Tonawanda are fed up with disgusting living conditions.

They called News 4 looking for help.

Some of the living conditions in the Newell Heights Apartment complex are absolutely disgusting with a strong smell of urine in one of the buildings.

Last week, a tenant contacted News 4 about sewage not being cleaned up in the basement of one of the apartment buildings. Tenants have also complained about disrepair, rats, and mold. The Erie County Health Department conducted an inspection last week and confirms that sewage was getting into the building.

The county health department says that the owner of the property was notified and a re-inspection will be done.

News 4 contacted the Town of Tonawanda building department and on Tuesday, the town sent a code enforcement officer to Newell Heights to conduct an inspection. According to residents, most of that sewage has been cleaned up by a maintenance crew.

“They fixed the sewage only because they knew you were coming, that’s the only reason that they fixed the raw sewage, because they knew Channel 4 was coming, otherwise it would’ve sat here and I feel me doing this is going to help people to benefit, now that it’s being addressed that they will have to fix it,” said Mark DiFulvio, a Newell Heights tenant.

Newell Heights is owned by Birgo Realty, which is based in Pittsburgh. The company says it’s aware of the issues at Newell Heights and is working to address the issues. The owner of the property says its been tough to maintain the complex because it’s an older property and there have been acts of vandalism there. Newell Heights is an apartment complex that accepts Section 8 vouchers.

“I have complained and they don’t want to fix it, part of the reason is because I refuse to pay them rent until they fix stuff,” DiFulvio said. “We’ve had several complaints of rats, we have mold in our basement, they just fixed our human raw sewage, we had in our basement about an inch of human waste in our basement that was there and it smelled absolutely foul.”

Birgo Realty says the safety of their tenants is their top priority. News 4 is still awaiting full details of both inspections from the Town of Tonawanda and the Erie County Health Department.

Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.