Some residents say The Bon Air apartments going downhill

By  | 

It's a home on the Hill to hundreds of seniors.

Now some are saying it's become a dangerous place to live.

News 12 has received multiple calls this week from residents at The Bon Air apartments who claim some of their new neighbors are responsible for an increase in crime where they live.

"It's terrible in here now," says resident Joyce Boeman.

Boeman has lived in the Bon Air for nine years. She says what was Augusta's premiere apartment facility for seniors is now a hot spot for crime.

"We didn't have all this with drugs, people loitering," she says.

Some other tenants say prostitution problems, along with last week's discovery of a man's body in a stairwell, have them asking: is this a place they want to continue living?

"I plan on moving out probably in a couple of months, somewhere better than this," says resident Kenneth Kirkland.

We asked resident Beverly Blue what she has seen.

"Nothing but crackheads in the back of the building and drug dealers on the forth floor...and on the fifth floor, crazy people," she said.

Most tenants we spoke to blame the new problems on new management and what they call a lack of discretion used in who can live in the building.

The Bon Air's policy states only those who are 62 years or older, disabled, or who meet certain income qualifications are eligible. But some say that policy is not being followed.

"Now it's a little mixture of everybody," Boeman says. "They say they can't discriminate."

Bon Air management would not speak on camera, but say they follow the policy, and emailed us a statement saying residents are a top concern. They point to a dozen security cameras, restricted access at every door, and an on-site police substation as ways they insure safety and security.

Resident Peter Coles says he can vouch for that.

"I enjoy living here," he says. "It's a good place, it's a beautiful place."

And despite her concerns, Joyce Boeman says she doesn't plan on just moving out.

"The tenants and everybody, we need to come together," she says. "It has to be a change with the tenants, management, and so forth, that's what has to happen."

Bon Air managers tell us every resident is required to pass a criminal and credit background check. They admit they have seen some problems, but say any residents found to be involved in illegal activities are evicted.