Vista Bonita Apartments Closing Monday

VISTA BONITA APARTMENTS CLOSING MONDAY The owner of a rundown apartment compound on the edge of South Houston where a boy drowned late last month has decided to shut down the entire 144-unit complex rather than correct unsafe conditions identified by the city: “In a brief phone interview Tuesday, [owner Nanik] Bhagia repeated his pledge to refund November rent and security deposits. He said he also would pay residents’ application fees at new complexes, but ended the call when pressed for specifics. Some tenants have said the office often is closed, and they were not sure Tuesday how to take advantage of his offer. Bhagia later e-mailed the Chronicle to say that tenants ‘will be paid when they turn in the keys and do not take away any of our appliances. We are not running away.’ The child’s death prompted more scrutiny from city inspectors, who descended again on the property and issued dozens of new citations. Residents say Bhagia blamed conditions on Hurricane Ike, but the city has been issuing tickets for years.” [Houston Chronicle; previously]