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Park Hill seniors demand improved maintenance and security at apartment building

Protestors live at Dahlia Square Senior Apartments
Dahlia Square Senior Apartments.jpg
Posted at 4:58 PM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 09:26:32-05

DENVER — On Monday, a group of Dahlia Square Senior Apartments residents in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood held a protest outside of their home to bring awareness to maintenance issues they said the property management company has failed to fix.

“The residents are fed up with the lack of safety and security protection provided by the management company,” said LaMone Knowles, president of the East Denver Residents Council. “The management company, Comcap Management, provides affordable senior housing metro wide.”

Knowles, who helped the residents formally complain to Comcap, said those who live in the apartments range in age from 62 to 85 years old. Most are former homeowners who downsized after retirement and wanted to stay in Park Hill.

So far, the residents have submitted 35 formal complaints to the company.

“The first complaint I have is the generator. Our elevators go down all the time,” resident Donna Stewart said. “Some of us are on walkers, some of us use wheelchairs and we can't go down the stairs.”

Other complaints include old air filters, dirty trash rooms and lack of security.

“Anyone can come in and out of our building at any time. The neighborhood knows this is a place to come when you just want to come inside. Anyone can come in,” resident Versie Williams said.

Resident Chairman Seku said he’s asked members of the homeless population to leave the property on several occasions.

“Every time the city does a sweep, they force them into the neighborhood with nowhere to go. Then, our building's all lit up, and the parking lot’s lit up and this is a haven for them to come to,” Seku said. “This wouldn’t happen in Cherry Creek.”

Seku said there are several areas along the building’s gate that are not secure, allowing trespassers to enter the property.

Comcap Management executives did not want to go on camera to address the complaints, but the vice president of operations said the company is working on fixing the gates, they provide a 24/7 emergency maintenance line and will discuss having a security guard patrol the building regularly.

Compcap reiterated that the community is not an assisted living facility, but is an independent living building. Comcap said they are open to meeting with residents individually to discuss complaints.

But some protesters said they have tried to meet with Comcap and have never heard back from the company.

“We have always complained. Management just closes their ears,” resident Versie Williams said.

Seku said the resident’s council has reached out to the Denver Police Department for help planning a self-defense class to help community members feel safe.

The residents also plan to set up a GoFundMe to help pay for security upgrades.