New Center Plaza Apartments residents demand answers after elevator sits broken for 7 months

Landlord says new elevator has been ordered

Residents living in Detroit's New Center area say the elevator has been broken for months, and as that happens, they say the landlord has decided to raise the rent in the building.

DETROIT – Residents living in New Center Plaza Apartments in Detroit say the elevator has been broken for seven months and they are becoming extremely frustrated.

“The elevators have been down for a long time,” said New Center Plaza resident Steve Rimmer. “I’m not sure what’s going on with it. I know people are dealing with it with health issues, and they’re suffering right now.”

Local 4 was told that the elevator has been out of service so long because a broken sewer pipe caused flooding that damaged parts beyond repair.

Rimmer said that residents who have addressed management about the issue have been hit with nothing but steep rent increases. Ray Debates is the landlord.

“The rent increases came because Chubb Insurance denied the claim,” Debates said.

“So it’s our fault?” Rimmer said.

Debates said a new elevator has been ordered but they have been delayed in shipping.

“We ordered this new elevator back in like September,” Debates said. “It’s taken this long; we cannot snap our fingers and get the elevators fixed. We had to order a brand new elevator. Everybody knows about the supply chain issues.”

Both men were able to come to an understanding that the job will be done.

“On Feb. 23, you will see a crane here bringing new equipment through the roof. I can call the elevator company right now as my witness that this is happening,” Debates said.

Local 4 will provide an update on this story when one becomes available.

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.