By Karen Morfitt

LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – Amity Plaza in Littleton has seven floors, 200 units and just two elevators. It’s also a former senior housing complex, and most of those tenants continue to call the building home.

“It’s become a really big problem,” Kathi Kistler said.

Kistler is among the residents who reached out to CBS4 about ongoing problems with the elevators. She says in April one of the elevators stopped working, making the other a necessity.

(credit: CBS)

“There are a lot of people that are not on the first floor that are handicapped,” Kistler said.

Some of them are in wheelchairs or rely on walkers or canes to get around. Wayne Ramirez is on the fourth floor. He has a history of heart attacks and worries every time he has to take the stairs.

“Me blacking out and me laying in the stairs. No one can come get me and no one even knowing I’m there,” he said.

That last operating elevator is now being used so much, it too is failing. It’s overheating and getting stuck often enough that building managers have posted signs explaining how to get help.

“Sometimes it could be five minutes they’ll be there, sometimes it could be three or four hours,” Ramirez said.

Tenants say they have been living with the issue for nearly six months, and building mangers tell them they simply can’t get parts to make the repairs.

(credit: CBS)

In a statement South Metro Housing Options told CBS4 the same thing saying,

“Unfortunately, we are experiencing the effects of our country’s supply chain shortage.”

“I don’t think they took action soon enough,” Kistler said.

She’s not entirely wrong. State inspection reports show a test on the hydraulic jack which caused the shutdown was recommended back in January, but wasn’t done until months later.

Today, tenants say all they want is a safe and reliable way to get to and from their homes

“I would like to see one good, running, working elevator that we are not afraid we are going to get stuck in or we are not afraid we won’t get up to our apartment,” Kistler said.

Residents we spoke to contacted CBS4 one day after our interviews with a new notice from management saying they installed new air conditioner units to help keep the current elevator from overheating.

In that same notice they said “due to this extreme situation they are now employing an emergency strategy” and will not be charging residents rent for September or October right now. They will provide a $100 gift card per month to residents who can find alternative temporary housing with family or friends. They are suspending new move-ins and say if both elevators become non-operational they will then provide alternative temporary housing.

Karen Morfitt