Austin: Slumlord Destroys Wheelchair Ramp, Intimidates Tenants

By Jakob Stein

Last week tenants and their supporters at Springdale Gardens apartment complex built a wheelchair ramp for a disabled resident, whom the property owners had failed to accommodate for years, only to find that it was completely destroyed by management the following day. After the demolition of the ramp, tenants reported attempts at intimidation from property management, as they went door-to-door unannounced, threatening tenants with eviction if they allowed housing activists inside their units.

Over the past two months, Springdale Gardens has been a site of tenant struggles as one of several apartment complexes participating in the citywide rent strike. Management at the complex has been targeted with graffiti, leading to the eventual firing of then-property manager Regina Wright. Throughout the struggle, the slumlords have taken every opportunity to harass and repress both tenants and activists, and now they have taken to actively making the apartment unlivable for disabled tenants.