Getting Answers: Springfield Gardens tenants claim lack of heat

Over the weekend, several Springfield Gardens tenants reached out to our newsroom to express frustrations with claims that the heat was not working in the freez
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 2:49 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 6, 2023 at 5:29 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Over the weekend, several Springfield Gardens tenants reached out to our newsroom to express frustrations with claims that the heat was not working in the freezing cold temperatures.

“Code enforcement was here earlier. They looked at the foundation issues that have been going on for about a year. They said they had 24 hours to fix the piping issues and getting the water back running or they will condemn as of tomorrow,” said Hunter Bakes of Springfield

Bakes lives in a Springfield Gardens owned building on Belmont Avenue. She told Western Mass News that she called the property manager several times over the weekend to complain about a lack of sufficient heat, as well as a burst water pipe this weekend. She said the Springfield Fire Department came by and turned off her water to help with the leak.

“They said they don’t have a call center here. They said they would put in a work order and I’ve gotten no response and I’ve called them over 25 times,” Bakes added.

After not hearing back from the property manager, she said she is planning to file a lawsuit at housing court. Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, echoed her frustrations about not hearing back from the management which follows a list of ongoing concerns he has also experienced.

“It just goes to a message saying you’ve reached Springfield Gardens and they don’t get back to you. Nothing happens. I know they do collect the rent though…We had to go out and buy heaters for the cold blast that just happened. Me and my dogs were totally freezing cold,” that resident explained.

State Representative Carlos Gonzalez said in a statement to Western Mass News, in part:

“David Gruber, Regional Manager, stated they had maintenance workers attempt to make repairs, upon receiving complaints. The Springfield Code Enforcement Department has been immediately responding to complaints and holding Springfield Gardens accountable, pushing for more rapid responses...the last few days have had extraordinarily cold temperatures, the problems at Springfield Gardens are ongoing. We will continue to advocate for our tenants and hold the management accountable.”

Bakes added that she wants to the landlord to step up and take action following months of ongoing problems with numerous tenants.

“I’ve seen all the news broadcasts that you guys have done over the past few months and I really hope someone can step in and fix all these issues. Families don’t have to live like this,” Bakes noted.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said in a statement:

“I strongly urge the State Section 8 subsidized housing establishments to withhold payment to Springfield Gardens...If that does not get their attention, by hitting them in their wallet, to expedite these repairs then nothing will, and we will continue to explore all of our options including receivership.”

We did reach out to the property manager and the lawyer representing Springfield Gardens several times on Monday, but we have not yet heard back.