Jesse’s Story of the Day

Broken elevator leaves seniors stuck in apartments for nearly two months


Some residents at Blakeley Manor in Seattle said they haven’t been outside in nearly two months because of a broken elevator.

“They told us the elevator is very old and there are no parts that can be found,” Anna Binkina said.

Binkina said she is able to use the stairs at the 4-story senior housing apartment building.  But she said many of the other residents in the building cannot.

“People here above 85, above 90 {years old},” Binkina said.  “Some of them, for two months, they don’t see any sun.  No fresh air.  They’re canceling their appointments because they can’t move from the fourth floor.”

Binkina’s 95-year-old neighbor, Shaina, said the only sunlight she’s seen in two months has been through her window.  Shaina also said she had to cancel critical eye appointments because she couldn’t get down the stairs.

Another neighbor, Tsilya Murshteyn, said her 91-year-old husband, who was very ill, also hasn’t been able to get out.

“For two months, he is without fresh air,” Murshteyn said.

Residents also said no one is listening to their complaints.

“Management from Seattle Housing Authority, they didn’t pay attention to us,” Murshteyn said.

Kerry Coughlin with SHA told us they called their elevator contractor, KONE, right away.  But none of their attempts to fix the elevator worked.

“{KONE workers} just are stumped, to be honest, with what’s causing the outage of the elevator,” Coughlin said.

Kerry also said building staff offered to help carry groceries and laundry up and down the stairs for residents, as well as temporary places to live.

“We have offered these people alternative living situations and no one has accepted those,” Coughlin explained.

But many of the residents said moving to a temporary space in their physical condition would be extremely difficult.  So, residents were just stuck waiting.

“No evidence of when it’s going to start working,” Anna Binkina said.  “I’m frustrated.”

Two days after contacting SHA, Kerry Coughlin sent Jesse an email stating that the elevator had been fixed.

The elevator is still working now, but that won’t be the case for long.  Residents recently learned SHA is replacing the elevator, and they were told it will be out of service for several weeks starting this August.

Maybe Jesse had nothing to do with getting the elevator fixed.  That very well could be the case.

But residents say one thing has changed for certain, SHA is communicating with them better.

And they expect to have very few if any issues for the elevator replacement.

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