Saturday, April 6, 2013

Failed Health, Safety Inspections Spell The Boot For Chi-Town Renters In Bank-Owned Apartment House; City Officials Give Few Days Notice, Threaten Police Presence If No Compliance

In Chicago, Illinois, WLS-TV Channel 7 reports:

  • Dozens of residents at a Chicago apartment building could be forced out of their homes later Wednesday. The city of Chicago says the building in the 1200-block of South Kedvale is not safe, but many people who live there say they will not have a place to go if the city kicks them out.

    The city has a court order indicating the building fails to meet minimum standards of health and safety.

    Tenants, however, say they were given only a few days' notice. They say they were not notified soon enough, and they were planning to challenge that court order Wednesday. If the city prevails, Chicago police could be called to force the residents out.

    "Some guy came and gave us papers and said the building is being closed down. He said if we didn't leave, they were going to use police powers," resident Magdalen Ruffin.

    "They still could've given us more time. They didn't have to give us three to four days. At least they can give us 30 to 60 days to get our stuff together and go," said Keesha Wilkins, also a resident.

    North Community Bank is listed as the building's owner.

    "A lot of people have paid up through the month. We don't know if it's a foreclosure. The man said he was the manager, then he said he was the landlord. A few of us did pay up through the month. They wouldn't give them time to get their money to get a U-Haul truck. They just said we've got to go," said Wilkins.

    According to the court order, police could report to the building at 9:30 a.m. to remove the residents. The court hearing during which the tenants will challenge the court order was scheduled for 9 a.m.

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