ST. LOUIS — For the last couple of years, Julia Cannon has tolerated living at the Southwest Crossing apartment complex in South St. Louis City. She’s tolerated the mold, the bugs and the rodents. Now, she has reached her limit.
“Nobody takes care of anything,” Cannon said. “The crime has just shot up.”
Cannon said her apartment was broken into and her car was stolen from the parking lot last week. Because she did not have transportation, she lost one of her jobs. Cannon is now looking for a new place to live.
“It's been really hard, depressing,” Cannon said. “It's kind of scary.”
Southwest Crossing is owned by TEH Realty, one of the largest owners of low-income housing in the St. Louis area. U.S. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri toured another TEH property in Bridgeton over the weekend. Then, Tuesday morning, Hawley tweeted that he spoke with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson about what he called the “deplorable living conditions” at the TEH properties in St. Louis and other parts of Missouri. Hawley said Carson pledged HUD would help.
“I think it's a good thing. Something needs to be done,” said Bobby Giammanco, who has lived at Southwest Crossing for the last year. He also worked at the complex as a groundskeeper until he was suddenly let go last month.
“They still owe me and the rest of the people they got rid of money,” Giammanco said. “We didn't get paid in full, only partial pay.”
Giammanco’s apartment has mold that he covered with paint. He and his fiancée try to make their apartment feel like home, but are hopeful someone will help them get out.
“If HUD came out here, give us all relocation vouchers and move on,” he said. “Find a cleaner place to live.”
5 On Your Side has repeatedly tried to contact TEH Realty. The company will not return our requests for comment.