Residents without hot water for three weeks at Albuquerque apartment complex

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Dozens of people living at an Albuquerque apartment complex were without water for three weeks, leading to city officials stepping in.

"I feel like I’m camping,” said Celeste Padilla, one of the residents.

According to residents and a notice by the Albuquerque Code Enforcement, the hot water has been out since Aug.15. That same notice said that it’s impacting 70 units of one of the apartment buildings, which is half of the residents at the complex.

"This is just not acceptable to me," said Angela Romero, who lives in one of those units, saying showering and cleaning have been a disaster.

"You have to boil water just to wash dishes,” Romero said, “A cold shower is not really something I’m fond of."

"I’m thinking okay, do I get a gym membership so I can use their shower?" said Celeste Padilla, who is in the same situation. She said complex management has been in constant contact with residents but says nothing gets resolved.

"Every day, we get a text message that says sorry for the inconvenience we’re working every day to try and find an answer, but there is no estimated time on fixing it."

Residents say management did offer one alternative, everyone could use a shower in one of the empty apartments in another building or use the community showers near the pool.

"To be showering after God knows who and nobody’s cleaning it, I mean, I clean it before shower in it. But it’s just ridiculous," said Paula Howard, another resident.

The showers near the pool are only open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For showering in the apartment, you have to reserve a spot since there is no lock on the door.

"There was a code to get you into the apartment and then there is absolutely no way to lock the door, so as a female, I didn’t feel comfortable by myself going over there and showering and hoping nobody walked in on me," said Romero.

Code Enforcement gave the complex until Sept. 9 to get the problem fixed according to the notice. That same day, crews were at the complex replacing the water heater.

But for Howard, it’s too little too late.

"Our lease is up on the sixth and we’re out," Howard says, "I don’t care if I have to pay a lot more, we got to get out of here."

KOB 4 did speak with an employee at the complex who said they cannot comment on what’s going on, but they did confirm the new water heater was being installed.