Apartments shut down after Ike

March 12, 2009 8:29:09 PM PDT
Thursday was the day some Hurricane Ike survivors had been dreading. They're being forced out of their homes. The city of Houston is shutting down the Almeda Chateau apartments for serious health code violations. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Some of the neighbors told us they don't know where they will go. They are being forced out Thursday night after weeks of enduring harsh living conditions.

We found neighbors packing up their belongings and moving out. A drastic action to what was supposed to be a solution to their housing problems.

Many tenants, like Joseph Metcalf, moved here after his home was destroyed by Hurricane Ike. For nearly two weeks, Metcalf and other tenants have not had any water. The City of Houston Public Works Department said the owner of the Almeda Chateau apartments owes the city $71,000 on the water bill.

There are other problems, too. The city said there are a number of health code violations including rats and mold. All the problems have been a lot for neighbors to deal with.

"Painful. No water, nothing. These apartments really need to be shut down. It was a mistake to move here," said Metcalf.

Notices have been posted around the apartments warning neighbors of the imminent closure, but many like Michelle Sanders are frantic. Sanders said she doesn't know why she has to move when she's paid her rent on time.

"I don't care anymore. I'm tired. I've got cancer. I had to go to chemo this week then come home and still pack up everything. There is no justice here," said Sanders.

We spoke to the apartment owner, who lives in San Diego, by phone. He blames FEMA and said he hasn't been paid by the agency so he can't pay the city. The city said the apartments are scheduled to be demolished this weekend.

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