CHICAGO (CBS)– A high rise with more than 400 units and one working elevator is a nightmare hundreds of North Side residents are facing.
The Caroline Hedger Apartments, in Rogers Park is a Chicago Housing Authority building.
Residents said there have been elevator issues for years, and last month only two of the three elevators were working. This past Friday, one of those broke, leaving only one working elevator for everyone in this building.
“I feel like a prisoner,” resident Mercedes Velazquez said. “We can’t even go out unless you walk down the stairs.”
Velazquez said she is most concerned about the older residents who live on higher floors.
“A lot of them can’t walk up there, I don’t know what they plan on doing,” she said.
Velazquez is worried about the older residents if an emergency were to occur.
“If they can’t get down, they’re going to die in here,” she said.
That fear is shared by Kim Campos-Lucas, whose mother lives on the 23rd floor.
“My fear is I’m at work and there’s a fire and my mother cannot walk down the stairs, even with assistance,” Campos-Lucas said.
She said those fears multiplied Friday when another elevator broke, leaving only one elevator in use.
Residents waited for the lobby elevator for 30 to 40 minutes.
A review of city records shows the building failed inspections a number of times, most recently in October of 2018.
One of the most common citations is the building “failed to maintain elevator equipment provided at the premises in safe and sound working condition.”
Residents said it’s taking a toll on everyone.
“Whenever you have to go anywhere, you’re concerned with the whether the slowness of the elevator will interfere with your plans,” resident John Quirk said.
Some residents, Like Ben Feldgreber, have to leave early to allow for the delay
“I go to medical treatment every other day, I have to start at 45 minutes early to make sure I can get down to catch my ride,” he said.
The CHA said technicians are working to restore service to all the elevators as soon as possible.