Butler Terrace resident feels Huntsville Housing Authority’s apology letter won’t fix anything

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Huntsville Housing Authority is apologizing to tenants of Butler Terrace. The HHA's Executive Director said they deserve better and blames the problems on staff shortages, aging properties, and outdated HVAC equipment.

On Wednesday, residents received the letter from the Huntsville Housing Authority's Executive Director apologizing for the discomfort and inconvenience they've been through for the last few months.

Residents say these problems have been going on for years.

"I feel like they are still not going to do anything," said Butler Terrace resident Kavitha McNeal.

For outsiders, the letter is a sign that change is on the horizon. In part, it reads "We are committed to you and have taken immediate steps to correct the gaps in our maintenance program and improve services."

McNeal has spoken out in the past about her concerns from rodents, to water leaks, to mold.

A few days after WHNT News 19's Aaron Cantrell's first story aired, maintenance was sent to clean mold out of her shower.

"I was asking him about every other thing and he was like, 'Oh, I'm not here for anything else, I'm just here for the mold. You have to put in another work order.' He said if they are two months behind on a work order it gets deleted," McNeal said.

We asked what she thinks prompted them to send out the letter.

"Because we came to the news and we are still complaining. I feel like they are not going to do anything about it," McNeal responded.

The letter is proof the Huntsville Housing Authority's Executive Director is aware of the issues at Butler Terrace. HHA said it prefers to respond to routine maintenance requests within five days.

"In the almost five years that you have lived here, has a maintenance worker responded within five days?" WHNT News 19's Aaron Cantrell asked.

"One time," McNeal responded saying actions speak louder than words. "They should just get rid of all the bad people that's out here and pretty much make it safer for us and our children to live here. They need to fix the maintenance people and make them work. They are getting paid to do work and they are not doing it."

She said in the five years she's lived here, this is the first time she's ever received an apology from the Huntsville Housing Authority.

McNeal also said HHA has now been charging residents for work orders filed on issues residents didn't create, such as when she was charged after a maintenance worker came to fix a  water leak in her kitchen.

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