Home Ventilation system Longmont Housing Authority faces costly methamphetamine contamination – Longmont Times-Call

Longmont Housing Authority faces costly methamphetamine contamination – Longmont Times-Call


The Longmont Housing Authority has struggled with people using methamphetamine in their apartments in the past and continues to struggle with drug-tainted units today.

“(It’s) a big deal here in Longmont,” Lisa Gallinar, regional real estate manager for the Longmont Housing Authority, said Monday.

Last spring, after a resident was evicted from his first-floor one-bedroom apartment at The Suites supportive housing at 2000 Sunset Way in Longmont, the unit was tested for methamphetamine and the results are in. positive income.

The damage cost about $100,000 to repair, including about $3,000 for testing, $25,000 for cleanup, and $73,000 for renovation.

“It’s not just about cleaning. It’s like ripping out the drywall if it’s contaminated, ripping out the flooring if it’s contaminated — taking it down to the bones where there’s no contamination left in the unit,” Gallinar said. “This unit was tested three or four times throughout the cleaning process.”

Supply chain issues, inflation, and the pandemic meant the repair process took almost a year instead of the six to 12 weeks it typically requires.

“It’s not something we can do on our own. We have to rent,” Gallinar said. “You have to have special certifications in Colorado to perform meth decontamination.”

According to the housing authority’s website, The Suites – a former hotel – was bought in 2011 to help people meet their basic needs while allowing independence.

The building has approximately 90 people living in its 82 fully furnished studios and one-bedroom apartments, as well as a property manager who resides on-site.

Gallinar declined to provide the name of the resident whose apartment was damaged by meth smoke and said a police report was never filed because they had already left the premises, having been evicted for ” other breaches of lease”.

The Longmont Housing Authority does not test every unit for methamphetamine contamination when a resident moves out, but only does so if there is a “concern”, such as the resident being arrested for possession of methamphetamine.

“We can’t force ourselves to do tests because of hearsay,” Gallinar said.

Gallinar clarified that no other units were contaminated at The Suites as a result of damage to the unit and said each apartment has its own ventilation system.

Along with the fact that the unit was ready to move in by the end of the month, Gallinar was confident that the housing authority’s insurance, specifically its “methamphetamine coverage,” would pay for all damages. by smoke.

The Housing Authority does not re-rent to people it evicts, and all applicants go through a credit and background check as part of the rental process.

A three-bedroom unit in the housing authority’s Aspen Meadows neighborhood was also damaged by methamphetamine smoke last fall, and the decontamination process was completed a few weeks ago.

The housing authority estimates that the damage to the three-bedroom unit will be even more costly than the contamination of the suites.

As previously reported by the Times-Call, the housing authority has had methamphetamine contamination in the past, including 10 damaged units at The Suites in 2018 and two in the Aspen Meadows neighborhood the same year.

In 2017, the City of Longmont agreed to pay $210,000 to four tenants of The Suites and their attorneys to settle claims they filed about warrantless searches at the resort.

“We need to put respect for people’s civil rights at the absolute top,” Longmont City Council member Marcia Martin said Thursday.

The Longmont Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, which consists of Longmont City Council, briefly discussed ongoing repairs to the one-bedroom unit at The Suites at their May 3 meeting.

“(The Longmont Housing Authority) can be lenient with eviction for other reasons…people who are difficult neighbors and people who are behind on their rent,” Martin said. “But, I don’t think there’s any leniency at all in terms of the treatment of people who use dangerous drugs and methamphetamine in particular because of the contamination problem.”