SPRINGFIELD (WGGB) — A follow-up on a story we brought you earlier this month concerning Hill Homes co-op in Springfield.
A Housing Court Judge had ordered several buildings damaged in the 2011 tornado be torn down by the end of this week.
When we visited Hill Homes last week – Rhonda Sherrill was upset.
“I’m a resident who was displaced due to the negligence of our managing agent. I lived there. I know my two neighbors here. The neighbors here grew up. They lived here like 35 years,” said Sherrell
For reasons unknown to residents – the apartments were never fixed after the storm.
Instead, for more than 2 years they’ve been left abandoned and rotting – ravaged by the elements and looters.
“I feel that it’s a health hazard and it would be nice if they could demolish them. There are raccoons, rats, and all kinds. Plus we live by the water so it’s kind of bad,” explained long time Hill Homes resident, Calvin Austin.
The city agrees.
The units are condemned and officials ordered they be removed by the end of this week – Friday the 13th.
Clearly, that’s not happening.
But it turns out that deadline isn’t set in stone. As long as the city is convinced some progress is being made.
And, as it turn out, progress is being made. Behind the scenes.
Hill Homes mortgage holder – HUD – has agreed to follow the court order, but first has to secure the proper permits for removal.
“HUD has granted it’s permission for the demolition to move forward,” said Rhonda Siciliano, HUD public affairs officer. “The owner has a contract for the demolition of Hill Homes so they are beginning to move forward with that process. Before demolition can take place however, there is some asbestos remediation and utility disconnect that has to take place on the site before they can demolish the units.”
So for now, it’s a matter of working through the paperwork – before the bulldozers work their way through the buildings.
Siciliano says they expect to have all the remediation work done within 2 to 3 weeks, and the demolition process should start in early October.