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Management company over Sabine Park Apartments in Orange responds to residents living without water

Trinity Multifamily tells 12News they are working with the local Red Cross to assist impacted residents, who've been living without water since Christmas.

ORANGE, Texas — Some renters at the Sabine Park Apartment Homes in Orange may finally have some answers after living without water since Christmas.

Several residents reached out 12News after pipes at the apartment complex busted during the arctic fold front, causing water to go out at nearly 20 units.

They said management refused to provide a timeline on when they'd have running water again. 

Sabine Portfolio, LLC. out of Brooklyn currently owns the Sabine Park Apartment Homes. 

12News has put pressure on the apartment's management companies, Trinity Multifamily and Asset Living, to get answers for concerned residents.

Trinity Multifamily responded to 12News via email on Thursday, January 19, 2023, reiterating they do not own the complex. 

"The repairs needed are quite extensive due to the age of the property as well as the freeze that happened a few weeks ago. We have received bids and the owners of the property- Sabine Portfolio LLC are reviewing them and making plans to get the work completed," according to a statement from Trinity Multifamily. 

Trinity Multifamily stated they already started making repairs to several broken pipes that are within onsite teams capabilities. 

"We are working directly with the city and the local red cross to get the impacted residents accommodated as best as we can with bottled water and other human services," they said.

The Orange Code Enforcement Division tells 12News owners of the Sabine Park Apartment Homes are in violation with providing a safe living space for tenants in Orange. 

Director of Planning and Community Development Kelvin Knauf says these conditions are not acceptable. 

"No one should have to live in a house or apartment that is having water leaks, and electrical problems and plumbing problems. That's why we have building codes, so they don't have to live like that and they shouldn't," Knauf said. 

The city's letter will list all the code violations they have on record for the property, giving the owners a deadline to respond with a plan or face legal action. 

"That is possible that the court could order it to be a substandard building. I mean we try to avoid demolishing or condemning buildings that is our last resort," Knauf. 

Having to move out is something that 46-year resident of the complex, Janice Jackson, doesn't want. 

"This is my home, I don't want to move anywhere else. I can't afford to, so there has to be something that can be done to save this place," Jackson said. 

RELATED:  'It's unbearable': Some Sabine Park Apartment Homes residents living without water since Christmas

12News has not been able to get a hold at the manager's office onsite.

When a 12News crew was at the complex on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, a sign was seen on the door of that office, instructing renters how to pay rent.

The note was dated January 15, 2023 and offered no insight into the water problems. 

An email was sent by 12News to the email listed at the bottom of the note, but no response has been received.

Sabine Park Apartment Home's Resident David Vonderhayden along with others have asked the management company for a timeline of repairs, but all questions have gone unanswered. 

"It's unbearable, it really is it's unbearable," he said.

Vonderhayden has lived at this apartment for six years now and he doesn't understand why the owners aren't willing to help, especially since all his bills have been paid on time.

"We went to the office they said they were gonna get on it and get the pipes fixed. She told me they were coming to hire two plumbers, but then she left. Last Friday in the middle of the night they moved out and left," he said.

Vonderhayden has been forced to fill up jugs at his neighbor's place just so that he can bathe and get clean drinking water.

"We can't run the dishwasher, we can't bathe really. It's been very inconvenient, you know going on four weeks now," he said. 

12News has put pressure on city officials. Orange Mayor Larry Spears say it's out of the city's hands, but he wants to help.  

Spears says the city, the public works director, the city manager and himself have reached out. 

"They have been contacted and are aware that we cannot do our part till until they finish their part. As a private entity, they are responsible with supplying their customers with adequate water lines," Spears said. 

Mayor Spears has toured the apartments and knows people can't live under these conditions.  

"They are on the clock to make those repairs. I am not happy, or proud of that. And I have toured the building and it's too many dilapidated buildings," he said. 

Renters are still left with many questions. 

"We are in limbo, we don't know. The owners haven't contacted us, all they put was that sign of where to pay rent. It seems that is all they are concerned with," said Vonderhayden. 

RELATED:  'It's terrible' : Sabine Park Apartment Homes resident describes living without water for 3 weeks 

Last week, a resident reached out to 12News with her concerns.

"I mean, I can't clean out my refrigerator, can't do dishes, can't cook anything for my family," she said.  

The resident asked 12News to not use her name or her face because she fears retaliation from management at the Sabine Park Apartment Homes.

"I cant clean my house," she said. "I have a service animal and I have to have water for him. We cant take baths, and we cant even flush our commodes."

The Texas Attorney General's website says renters have a right to demand that a landlord repair any issues that affect your physical health or safety. For renters living with no water, however, the waiting is becoming more difficult. 

"I can't afford to move to another apartment cause it would mean breaking the lease, and I cant afford to do that," the resident said. "These other apartment complexes are wanting to charge 1,000, 800, 900... I cant afford it."

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