Residents of Richmond apartment complex demand better living conditions

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Dozens of maintenance requests are being filed at the Southwood Apartments rental office as residents say things need to change.

A protest was held at the South Richmond complex asking the owner to make a plan to bring all 1,300 units up to code.

The New Majority Virginia organization says the community is mostly made up of working-class Latino immigrants, whose demands for better living conditions are being ignored.

“It’s been quite shocking to walk into places where there are rats, broken electronics, mold, damp, people are scared for children — scared that bedbugs or rats don’t bite them when they’re sleeping. People fight against that mainly for their kids because obviously you don’t want to live in a dangerous place,” said community organizer Sophia Vega.

Vega says many families have learned to cope with the conditions, but community organizers say they deserve better.

New Majority Virginia said there have been repairs and renovations in recent months, but many apartments remain untouched.

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