Residents kicked out of West Side apartment building by City of Chicago get more time

March 27, 2013 (CHICAGO)

City officials had determined that the building in the 1200-block of South Kedvale was not safe, and a court order stated residents had to be out of the building by 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The residents argued in a court hearing that they were not given enough notice. Now, they have more time.

"I have somewhere else to go but it takes time to pack our things," tenant Roderick Gordon said.

Meanwhile, more details about why the building is deemed so dangerous came to light Wednesday. According to a city attorney, the building is in violation of fire codes, has no fire extinguishers, no smoke detectors and no carbon monoxide detectors.

The city's court order says the 32-unit apartment complex on Roosevelt and Kedvale failed to meet minimum safety standards.

Walls are crumbling inside.

"There are bedbugs, mice, floods in the basement. It is pretty bad," resident Amos Scott said.

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

Some called court order, which threatened eviction by police in five days, unfair because of short notice.

" 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.

Wednesday, a judge granted residents one additional week to move out.

" They all agree that the building is in disrepair. They all expressed a desire to move, but there wasn't adequate time for them to relocate," said Raymond Gye, a constituent service representative for Congressman Danny Davis.

Some longtime residents were seen loading up clothing, appliances and other belongings as they started moving out because of hazardous conditions.

Others, however, said they had no place to go.

"It is not fair. Why give someone just five days? That is not right. It's a lot of families in here with little kids and everything, elderly people. That is not fair," said resident Veronica Ayers. "Right now, I'm going to a shelter."

In court Wednesday, the judge offered assistance for anyone who might need help moving.

Another court hearing was scheduled for next Tuesday during which more details will be ironed out, but it will not change the fact that the residents must leave.

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