Residents, Landlords Work Together to Provide Safer Living Conditions

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY, (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — There’s something to be said for being your own best advocate.

That’s what some local seniors believe when it comes to making their high rise apartment building the best it can be. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller shows us how they and their fellow tenants are benefiting.

“Everything I need and then some, really. I have room for my oxygen tanks,” said Marjorie Malcolm.

She has lived at Washington Square Apartments in Wilkes-Barre for 10 years. Her apartment used to be on the 11th floor of the 14-story high rise but because of breathing and mobility issues, the 76-year-old wanted one closer to the elevator and lower in the building. About a year ago, she relocated to the third floor.

“I just feel comfortable and it makes it hard otherwise,” she said.

Ms. Malcolm credits getting her request granted with help from the Washington Square Tenants’ Rights Association which formed last year.

“We’ve got Marge moved and that was great. She’s so much happier here,” said Bill Daniels who is the association’s chairperson.

But Mr. Daniels and his fellow tenants’ rights association members, about a dozen in all, didn’t stop there. They pointed out to management a perceived problem in the parking lot.

“There was a light that was missing. We got them to replace that. Sensor lights in the garbage room,” Mr. Daniels said.

Mr. Daniels led Eyewitness News reporter Mark Hiller to what he calls his group’s latest accomplishment.

“And everybody’s real happy now about the changes we pushed for in the laundry room,” he said.

A few weeks ago, management installed brand new washers — both front loading and top loading — and new dryers including some higher ones for taller tenants.

“It was time to make an upgrade in the laundry room and that’s something we thought would be good for everybody,” said Washington Square Apartments Property Manager Joanne Jeffery.

Ms. Jeffery has been on the job for a couple of years.

“I take any suggestions from any resident. I have an open-door policy that everyone is aware of. If there’s any way that we can make the building better, I’ll do it,” Ms. Jeffery said.

It’s what tenants like Mr. Daniels are counting on.

“I’m happy that we’re making positive changes and, you know, it gives you a good feeling,” Mr. Daniels said.

The Washington Square Tenants’ Association meets once a month. It’s an offshoot of another group Mr. Daniels helped form called the Elder Alliance.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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