Saginaw residents forced from apartments, still looking for new homes

City hears from owners, plan repairs, but too late for people who must leave
About 84 residents had to find new homes after their apartment complex was condemned by the city of Saginaw
About 84 residents had to find new homes after their apartment complex was condemned by the city of Saginaw(WJRT)
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 6:23 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WJRT) - People who lived at a now condemned apartment complex in Saginaw are still packing up their belongings and trying to a find a new place to live, all in the middle of a pandemic.

The city says they received an email from a firm, which states the owners are now ready to make repairs, its too late for the people who lived there.

“I thought it was a lie, so I called the city,” says Laura Ceccarelli.

But when the Saginaw special education teacher called city officials, it was true.

“I have to be out by next Thursday,” she says.

The 84 people who lived at the White Deer Apartments on the city’s southwest side had to leave because the buildings were being condemned.

“This is very difficult during a pandemic because one thing, there are no places to go,” she says.

The city building inspections unit has been working with the owner for a year on trying to get necessary repairs. Several extreme hazards flagged by inspectors include electrical problems, water damage and significant fire safety concerns.

The buildings are owned by Ravanna Ruby, LLC out of Florida. Its principal owner lives out of the country.

“We should be more careful who let own buildings here in the United States, because they don’t pay their taxes to take care of the yards and the people are the ones to suffer,” Ceccarelli says.

“I just got the call a couple of hours ago that she needed help,” says friend Britany St. John.

Laura is getting help from St. John, who happened to be visiting from South Carolina.

“Its real awful, people got no places to go, let alone the money because no one can really work,” St. John says.

Local agencies have been helping people find other places to live. Laura is staying in motels for now, but she will have to find a permanent home soon.

“I’m just not sure what is going to happen,” says Ceccarelli

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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