Residents feel trapped in Daytona apartment complex

Broken elevators force residents to climb flights of stairs

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It's been a daily struggle for some residents living at the Maley Apartments after Hurricane Matthew destroyed all three of the elevators.

"By the time I get to two or three flights of stairs, I'm out of breath and I have to do this again," Ottis Willis said as he was using an inhaler.

Willis isn't the only one who tried making it up the dark and dingy 12-story high-rise.

"You got the elderly here, the disabled. Some people haven't been down since the elevator broke down," Gloria Stone said.

Stone lives on the 11th floor.

"I have to sit here for a couple of hours before I can get enough courage or energy to go back up the steps. And when I get up the steps, I don't want to come back down," she said.

"It's been difficult," said Cathy Marsden, who lives next door to Stone.

"It takes me 45 minutes to get back up the stairs. Then I'm winded. I'm scared I'm going to have a heart attack."

"Since the elevators have been down, we've been providing regular wellness checks on our residents," said Dr. Anthony Woods, CEO of the Housing Authority of Daytona Beach.

Woods also said they've been working to place residents in other properties, including hotels, within the county. Several of those locations are ready for residents to move in Tuesday, if they choose to leave.

"We do hold true to our values and code of values. In doing so, we're mindful of the fact that, that is our primary mission. To provide housing that is decent, safe, sanitary and in good repair," Wood said.

Woods said it'll take at least three weeks and more than $120,000 to repair the elevators. News 6 was also told residents who decide to relocate will not have to pay for rent.

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