Crime in east Urbana has been climbing for the last several years. Most recently, there's been a shooting nearby and a fire and stabbing inside Omo Osagie's apartments.
Amber Hendricks lives and works at the apartments and she says it's only getting worse. She believes her neighbors are bringing the trouble. She seen, "people that buy and sell drugs, and a lot of them aren't working, o they're hanging out there all hours of days." She adds tenants have trashed the place, broke the windows, doors, threw garbage all over, threw bottles all over, syringes all over the building."
City inspectors looked for themselves and they say buildings aren't safe to live in. They found loose wires, missing fire alarms, and even charred doors. The City's safety manager describes what he saw as, "disappointing." The landlord agrees, and he wants the city to condemn his buildings so he has a chance to re-build and find new tenants. Hendricks hopes the change will bring a better home for her and her family. She says the troublemakers give other residents a bad rap, "there are low income people that aren't bad, so we deserve a decent place to live." The City says it's up to the landlord here to board up the place.
Urbana just started a new rental registration program to clean up apartments like Gabe's Place around town. Some landlords fought that program. The City says this situation is a prime example of why its needed.