UPDATE: People, Inc. issued a statement to News 4 Tuesday afternoon saying the broken elevator was fixed. A spokesperson said: “The elevator company returned to the site at 9:00 a.m. today (August 15) and at 3:15 p.m. today they reported that the elevator is fixed and operating. We regret the inconvenience to our tenants.”

ORIGINAL: BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Residents in an affordable housing complex on Buffalo’s East Side are demanding that much needed repairs be made inside their building.

One major repair hasn’t been made in a week and tenants there are Calling for Action.

That major repair is to the elevator inside the Jefferson Avenue Apartments at 1166 Jefferson. The elevator inside has been broken for a week. Many tenants there have mobility issues or disabilities and this issue has been a big problem for them.

For the past week, tenants have had to deal with stairs, but that hasn’t been easy. Some tenants tell us they haven’t left the building because of the broken elevator and their inability to deal with stairs.

There are roughly 90 apartments in the Jefferson Avenue Apartments complex. Many residents told News 4 they did not want to go on camera out of fear of being evicted. News 4 heard from one woman who spoke to us off camera and described what it’s like living there.

“I know they’re working it out, but it’s not fixed, so if it’s not fixed why are we here the ones who can’t do those stairs get us out of this building put us back in a hotel room, accommodate us especially ones that are disabled, wheelchair bound that’s all I want,” said one resident, “We got people that’s in wheelchairs that can’t even get down. We had one person that had to be taken to ER and I take care of her so I know what that issue is. That was stressful for her that [she] couldn’t get out and you got people in wheelchairs that couldn’t get to work.”

The Jefferson Avenue Apartments are owned by People, Inc., which has an office in Williamsville.
The agency says when the elevator here stopped working a week ago, staff immediately contacted a repair company. An assessment was done and it was determined that the elevator needed a part that needed to be ordered. So, that’s what the hold up has been. People, Inc. says they notified tenants about the issue with a letter.

People, Inc. tells us they’ve been staying on top of the issue every day. The agency tells us the part for the elevator is expected to arrive Tuesday and that the elevator should be operational by the end of the day.

If you have a Call 4 Action complaint, you can call our hotline: (716) 879-4900.

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