Overtown apartments’ property manager blames city’s delay for lack of electric service

Tenants of Downtown Villas say they lost power last week

OVERTOWN, Fla. – Joseph Cruz is among the more than a dozen residents of the Downtown Villas in Miami’s Overtown who said Wednesday that they haven’t had electricity for over a week.

Cruz said he had to empty his refrigerator, and without a working air conditioner or access to the internet, he hasn’t been able to work from his apartment.

“I have a medication that I have had to relocate because it has to be refrigerated,” Cruz said adding, “They’re not offering any solutions. They’re not putting us anywhere.”

The group of tenants said a fire knocked out the power on Jan. 24. Deyanira Montez, the Downtown Villas property manager, said they hired an engineer and an electrician, but the repairs couldn’t move forward because of pending permits with the city.

Jose Barrero, a home inspector with Miami-Dade County, said the Downtown Villas property owners benefit from government subsidies for several of the apartment units.

“As of today, we will stop whatever Section-8 units are here. We will stop payment,” Barrero said. “They can’t be without power.”

Terrence Handley, another Downtown Villas resident, said he is a good tenant who always pays his rent in full and has never been late, so he deserves better treatment.

“We don’t want to hear your excuses,” Handley said.

Montez said they had not considered the possibility of providing tenants with generators.

“We believe that we’re going to have something arranged by Friday,” Montez said. “We should have power back.”


About the Author:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.