More than a dozen residents have been suddenly forced out of their condemned apartments in Ferguson, Missouri, KDSK reports.
Park Ridge Apartments placed city code notices on 14 doors in one of its complexes Wednesday. The notices told those living inside the apartments their domiciles had been condemned. They also revealed residents only had 24 hours to leave.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, residents claim they'd asked the managers of Park Ridge to fix the apartments for years. It wasn't until falling concrete crashed in front of Ashley Spotswood's doorstep on Tuesday that something was done about the deteriorating building.
“I’ve been telling them for six years to fix it,” Spotswood said. “The foundation is bowing out in my apartment. My kitchen is unlevel.”
T.E.H., the company that owns Park Ridge and 2,400 other rental units around the greater St. Louis area has a poor history with building inspectors. The Post-Dispatch found the company has received dozens of citations for buildings in poor condition.
“This is deplorable," Anita Waters, whose daughter lived in Park Ridge, said. "These people are human, and they deserve better than this.”
The leasing office will reportedly pay for boxes and other moving expenses incurred by the residents, many of whom are Section 8 recipients. The owners will also cover utility bill transfers but won't pro-rate any rent. Most of the residents are moving into another, nearby T.E.H.-owned property.
"I have a daughter that's getting ready to deliver next month, and this is kind of putting me in a jam," said Jennifer Water, who has lived in the apartment complex for five years.
In news that has troubled many in Ferguson at large, the Ferguson-Florissant School District Board of Education has announced a decrease in the number of public schools serving the community, KMOV reports.
Following a contentious vote, there will be two rather than three public high schools, with McCluer South Berkeley being closed to the public and reopened as a selective enrollment STEAM school focusing on science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.
“As president of the Board of Education I know we have been entrusted to raising the quality of education in our schools while being fiscally responsible stewards of your financial investment as taxpayers,” Dr. Courtney Graves said in a statement.
Many parents attending the vote weren't pleased.
"This plan stands to take one more school from that community, or maybe two because they consider McCluer South Berekely as their school," parent Judy Ferguson Shaw told the Post-Dispatch. "But the plan says you’re going to take that school and give it to the STEAM school. They’re not happy about that.”
The vice president of the school board, Rob Chabot, however, said the move would help improve educational outcomes.
"We are at a state of desperation to turn this district around,” Chabot said. “We’re the second-worst school district in this metro area… We can do better.”
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