Elderly and disabled residents worried living at Miami building

Unpaid water bills, elevator concerns at Little Havana complex

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI - Residents of a Little Havana apartment building have literally seen the signs in recent weeks. Signs pointing to the dangers of where they live.

The elevator operation certificate at the building at 435 Southwest 10th Avenue expired in July, while the elderly and disabled residents who live there were told the water would be shut off if the landlord didn't pay the bill.

Miami-Dade County posted the notice for the $3,200 water bill after it had been overdue for over a month.

The Chief of Staff for Commissioner Eileen Higgins showed up Friday to make sure those living inside were not left high and dry.

"This building houses our most vulnerable residents including our elderly and disabled folks," said Maggie Fernandez.

The subsidized housing apartments are part of a collection of buildings that trace back to the same owner landlord family.

A member of the family that owns the buildings, Julie Wanounou, didn't want to talk when approached by Local 10.

Wanounou's uncle seemed to place the blame on the residents.

"The old people, all they do is complain." said the man.

The building's owners have a history of unpaid water bills, having failed to pay on time 12 times over seven years, according to the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department.

However, late Friday, word came down that part of the water bill was paid.

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