Friday, December 04, 2015

Code Violations Lead To Shut Down Of 16-Unit Building In Foreclosure, Leaving Most Residents Scrambling While Some Stay Put w/ Nowhere To Go

In Peoria, Illinois, WEEK-TV Channel 25 reports:
  • One week after Peoria code enforcement inspectors shut down a West Bluff apartment building, some residents are still living there. For some of them, getting help has not been easy.

    Charnell Malone was having trouble breathing when an ambulance rushed her from her apartment last Tuesday. Malone says trouble began when her landlord brought in a propane heater to kill bed bugs. "I asked that man not to turn that thing on me. I said, ‘Mr. Gil, you know I have lung spasms.’ You know what he told me--I said, ‘How hot it supposed to get?’ he said, ‘120 degrees.’ I said, ‘Mr. Gil, is you crazy?’ He was like, ‘naw,’" recounted Malone.

    Hours later, Peoria code enforcement inspectors shut the apartment building down due to numerous violations. Code enforcement inspectors found a bed bug infestation among other violations last week.

    Most of the 16 apartment building residents at the Roanoke Avenue apartment have moved out.

    The Bank of Farmington has started foreclosure proceedings against Johnson, but is also offering $250 cash to residents. “They're very concerned with the plight of residents; it's a very unfortunate situation," said Private Investigator Marcella Teplitz. “I believe almost everyone is out and there are several people who are experiencing difficulties in finding the kind of accommodations that may be necessary for their conditions,” Teplitz added.

    Malone, who has a disability, says she has no relatives in the area and--for now--is staying put inside the condemned building. "I'm just taking a chance until somebody can come and help me, ‘cause I can't move nothing around here. I can't move myself half the time,” added Malone.

    We tried to reach out to Johnson and his attorney, who showed up in Peoria County court Wednesday for a foreclosure hearing. The foreclosure hearing has been rescheduled for two weeks to give the landlord Gil Johnson adequate time for a response.

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