SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — A judge orders a Springfield apartment building closed down and tenants are forced to find a new place to live.
The decision follows the second hearing in a week on the matter.
As of 5:00 p.m. Thursday, just one hour ago, this apartment building behind me was locked up tight.
The tenants have either found temporary housing or are staying with family or friends.
All day long people were leaving their apartments at 2612-2616 Main Street in the city’s North End. The building was condemned by the city.
City inspectors say the apartment building was unsafe citing electrical p[problems that created a fire hazard, inadequate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and water leaks throughout the building.
On Monday, Judge Robert Fields ordered the building closed, but many tenants remained.
In fact, the judge was told that some others who weren’t residents had moved into the building since then.
But on Thursday, the Judge ordered the building closed again – this time for real. Electricity was being shut off and electrical meters removed, and the water was also shut off.
The grim reality was sinking in.
“I definitely agree. I didn’t know there were so many problems. We just moved in. We never would have moved in there were things they were going to fix but never got fixed,” says John Prebish, a resident of the building.8
“At the beginning, we didn’t know what the issues were, but the way the’re saying, I think it’s true,” adds Jacqueline Delgado.
Among those being displaced was 73-year-old Christina Andino.
“She says she feels real bad,” Andino says through an interpreter.
Andino and the other tenants have either found temporary housing or are staying with family and friends.
The tenants at 2612 Main had until 5:00 p.m. to get out of the building. As you can see, some have U-Haul trucks to remove their personal belongings.
As they did, others who attended the court hearing felt they should have been given more time to remove their personal belongings even though the Judge said they could have two more weeks to go into the building to get their possessions with the permission of management even though no one would be allowed to live there.
“I would have liked to have seen an agreement between the property company and the city to fix some of the problems so these families could have a little more time to get out. We’re not looking to have the whole building done but at least a couple more months,” notes Shelly Flagg, who is there helping the residents move out.
That did not happen, and the apartment building has been officially closed down.
The building was originally condemned about a month ago. It had been managed under a court-appointed receiver for some time.
The receiver apparently wasn’t receiving enough money to correct code violations and maintain the property.
Judge Fields also told tenants today that they were lucky there wasn’t a fire at the apartment building and that no one got hurt due to the condition of the property.