Refugee family struggles with sewage from bathtub in Austin apartment

Austin (KXAN) — An Afghan refugee family lives in an apartment whose tub and toilet leak untreated sewage.

The Watanjar family came to the US after fleeing the Taliban. They said they didn’t expect to come to Austin and live in unsafe conditions.

“They came here because they will have a good life. But they could not imagine that they would face such a situation,” said Samarulla Watanjar, translating for his father Mohammed.

They said this had been going on for several months at Fort Branch at Truman’s Landing Apartments in East Austin.

Management has informed KXAN that they are looking into the matter.

“We carried out an inspection and found that there was a leak in the external water supply in house 8. We believe this is due to roots growing into the water pipes. We have contacted a plumber who will be away today and expect the issue to be fixed today.”

Cassie Cole, Regional Manager Fort Branch at Truman’s Landing

But this is not the first problem of the complex. He is part of the Austin repeat offenders program. This is a list of complexes with multiple code violations that are monitored annually to ensure issues are fixed.

The number of such cases has increased over the years.

The Wantanjars said they terminated the lease after negotiations with management. But now they have two weeks to pack up and move.

“They came here because they will have a good life. But they did not imagine that they would face such a situation,” Samarulla said.

The city of Austin has said that the registration of a property listed as a repeat offender may be suspended or revoked if it does not correct the infringement within the prescribed time limit.

If this happens, they won’t be able to rent out the vacant space until they fix it.

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