Residents of Friendship Towers still say the conditions there are “unbearable.” A hearing is set for this afternoon in Fulton County Superior Court.
Friendship Baptist Church was ordered last month to cover all attorney’s fees and litigation costs for residents of Friendship Towers who allege that living conditions at the facility are “unbearable.” The church owns the building. Residents of the apartment building on Northside drive, also didn’t have to pay rent for this month. Judge Jerry Baxter also ordered that every resident at the facility, whose medical condition is “negatively affected by the heat despite utilizing” the provided air condition, “be relocated and provided supplemental housing within 48 hours” of such notification to management company GlassRatner.
Rev. Emmanuel McCall, the pastor of the church, did not show up today at Friendship Towers. For months, residents of the high-rise on Northside Drive, have been complaining that they are being forced to live without air conditioning. Some attended service’s at the church’s temporary sanctuary at Morehouse College on Sunday. That’s when they say that McCall announced that he’d be visiting the facility where the mostly black and elderly residents call home. And whereas McCall was later quoted as saying that he made no such promise, the residents and activists who were also at the service, vehemently deny McCall’s claim. “He stood in front of everybody”, according to former Atlanta City Commissioner Derrick Bozeman, “if Rev. McCall says that he did not say that, a man I have respect for, then he is a liar”, says Bozeman.
The $15,000 in attorney’s fees, according to the order from June, covered the time of the filing of the residents’ lawsuit through August 18. It goes on to say that “further rent abatement” will be determined following an inspection by the judge this month.