Living Conditions in a Hot Springs Subsidized Housing Complex Questioned

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A subsidized housing complex in Hot Springs has a prime location down Central Ave., but according to some tenants, it has less than prime conditions. 

Most recently the Aristocrat Manor Apartment complex went more than a week without air conditioning, according to some residents. 

One woman claims her grandmother has suffered from bed bugs and respiratory problems from black mold. 

But those with concerns didn’t want to go on camera out of fear of retaliation. 

Since the owner of the complex is contracted through HUD, many can’t afford to live anywhere else. 

According to HUD, the tenants pay 30 percent of their income in rent. The building owner says 80 percent of residents are elderly while 20 percent are disabled. 

In the mix of sounds in downtown Hot Springs, as of Saturday is a large cooling unit renting space in a nearby parking lot. 

“They say the sound is about 95 to 100 decibels,” Tadlock, a business owner said.  

The nuisance outside, created by bigger problems inside the Aristocrat Manor Apartment complex, a privately owned complex contracted with HUD to subsidize rent. 

“There’s 92 residents that live there and we see quite a few of them,” Tadlock said. 

Mike Tadlock owns Paradise Cream a few doors down from the subsidized housing complex. 

“Heard a lot of complaining about the heat and everything in the building because the air conditioning wasn’t cooling properly,” Tadlock said. 

“We lost it one time, but it came back on. This time it went out for over a week,” Kath Veran a resident at Aristocrat Manor said. 

On any given day you can find Kath Veran outside her home enjoying the fresh air. 

“We sit out here every night when it’s warm and watch all the people,” she said. 

Despite complaints from some tenants and their families of poor living conditions like bed bugs, mold and the most recent air conditioning problems, she doesn’t share in the worries. 

“Well, they called the bug man and they call people in here and they fix things.”

Where the temporary a/c fix now sits is in this parking lot several buildings down from the apartments. 

But it started in front of Tadlock’s shop.

An eye sore for downtown and a potential pain to his pocket book, so the city got involved forcing the apartment owner to move it. 

“That would have stopped a lot of traffic from coming to our business,” Tadlock said. 

Creating tension among all involved, including some people who live there, who continue to raise concerns about their living conditions. 

We brought some of these concerns to the owner of the Aristocrat Manor, Skip Coffman. 

He said inspections are done all the time and are under the supervision of HUD. 

He says the property is “in good shape.” 

A permanent fix to the a/c unit is expected in the next 4 to 6 weeks. 

Coffman also said there are city management problems that he and his attorney plan to address in the coming days. 

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