CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the color of the tags on the replacement apartments.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – People living in Holmes Apartments have been dealing with holes in their ceilings, bugs, and trash for months now.

When they arrived at their new apartments after being removed from their red-tagged homes, some of them were greeted with a different colored tag.

“You don’t want to be forced to do something and then you also don’t want to lose what you have worked for so hard,” said resident Ashley Ellis.

Ellis was told she had to leave her home of two years in less than 24 hours after inspectors saw huge holes in her ceiling.

City officials condemned her apartment everyone was forced to leave.

She says a leasing agent from Simtob Management, the company that owns the apartment, came by telling everyone if they wanted a new unit, they had to sign a new lease.

“If we did not sign the lease we got no uHaul help we would not be able to go to any other properties and we would be forced on the streets,” said Ellis.
Angela Bollwahn says she signed the lease, fearing that she would be put out on the streets.

Trying to be optimistic about her move, she went to look at her new unit at Pacific Apartments, only to find multiple units with pink and red tags dating back six months.

But what scared her most was when she talked to someone who lived there.

“It was a nightmare they had bugs they had cockroaches they had a few of the people there had something that would bite their skin and just start eating away on the inside of their body,” said Bollwahn.

To make matters worse, Bollwahn says she talked to a person who works with the federal program that assists low-income families with housing.

That person told her they were unsure if they will be able to help with the rent there because of the leasing company’s track record.

“They don’t know being these units have been red tagged. They told me I didn’t have to re-sign the lease. Section 8 is not sure if they are going to be approving and being able let our units get paid for. So we all may end up being homeless again,” said Bollwahn.

We are aware of the ongoing issue with the roof at 2222 W Holmes Rd. and understand the frustration these residents are faced with. We were made aware of the issue as soon as the incident occurred and have been working diligently with our insurance company and roofing contractor to get this repaired as soon as possible. With it being winter months in Michigan, majority of roofing companies do not engage in projects like this until spring. After spending countless hours searching, we were able to find a contractor to take on the project. They informed us of the difficulties we may run into with the snow and ice but ensured us they will complete this job as fast as they possibly can.

Any residents who have been faced with the unfortunate challenge of a leaky or faulty ceiling have been offered the opportunity to transfer into one of our newly renovated units with no penalty of breaking their current lease. We have had a number of residents transfer into these renovated units who are very satisfied.

The City of Lansing has come out to inspect a handful of units. Units 11,14,21,24 and 25 have all been red tagged due to the current roofing situation and brought to our attention. Residents in these units have either already been transferred to a new property or are in progress of being transferred.

We have not moved any new residents into the building since we have encountered this issue and will not be engaging in any new resident move ins until the roof is complete and closed out by the city. Our contractor is on track to have this job completed and finalized within the next two weeks.

Simtob statement

This is Brad Simtob. We spend $10,000 on each unit renovation and have completed over 250 in Lansing alone. We had only 7 hours on March 22nd to find and relocate 11 tenants from 2222 W Holmes Road. Moving them into Pacific Apartments was the only option we had for this quick of a turnaround. We finished construction at 1317 E Kalamazoo Rd in January 2023 and have been waiting for our rental inspection ever since. We have already sent over pest control reports, boiler reports, etc to the City for their approval. We have renovated nearly 40% of the units at Pacific Apartments and have been waiting for our rental permit inspections which start tomorrow and continue throughout the next week. We are doing our absolute best to work through these issues and continue to provide housing for the Lansing community. We are an extremely hands on company and do not take this media attention lightly. We are working every working hour possible to identify and solve every issue possible. Since starting our company in 2020 we have spent nearly $4,000,000 on renovations in the City of Lansing, which we only hire local contractors for.

Brad Simbtob