Disabled Boston residents say building has been without elevator for days

·2 min read

61-year-old Cynthia Stokes struggled Monday to climb two flights of stairs to get to her second-floor apartment. Stokes lives in the Egleston Crossing building on Washington Street and relies on a cane to get around. She was panting and covered in sweat by the time she made it to her apartment.

“God forbid anything happens, this is what we have to do,” Stokes said. “Did you see all the work I had to do to get in there? It’s a lot for me to go up and down like that.”

Residents at Egleston Crossing, including some who are elderly and disabled, says its owner, Winn Residential, has been slow to respond after the building’s sole elevator broke down last week.

“I feel like I’m incarcerated in my home. I sit in there all the time because I can’t go nowhere,” Stokes said. “It’s hard for me to do those steps every single day, to come up and down. Yesterday I just broke down, I had a meltdown, I’m crying.”

Stokes showed us a letter she received from Winn Residential, dated June 10.

“Please be advised that elevator is temporary [sic] out of service. The outside elevator company and our maintenance staff are working vigorously to restore service. Unfortunately, we do not have a specific time will be fixed [sic],” the notice said.

According to residents, the elevator has been unreliable for several weeks because of ongoing maintenance issues.

“This elevator has been doing this for two months now,” 70-year-old Queen Green said. Green lives on the third floor and uses a walker.

“I kept calling them Friday because I had a doctor’s appointment, and I couldn’t get out because the elevator didn’t work,” Green said. “When I get here and that elevator don’t work, I have to try to get up three flights of stairs, and that’s impossible for me to do that.”

A Winn Residential spokesperson said the company is working to fix the problem.

“We understand the concerns of residents and apologize for the elevator outage. We are personally visiting each household in the building today to see if anyone needs special assistance while we work to get the elevator up and running as quickly as possible. We appreciate the residents’ patience as we resolve this issue,” the spokesperson said.

Stokes had a direct message to the building’s owners.

“They’ve got to do better. Stop collecting our rent and do something about it,” she said.

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