Michiana apartment complex evacuated for code violations - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Michiana apartment complex evacuated for code violations

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They are called the Princess Apartments, but residents tell us living there was more of a nightmare than a fairy tale.

"It's disgusting," said former resident Michael Carlo, with tears in his eyes. "I'm ashamed to even say this was my home."

Carlo is just one of many people who was told by Mishawaka code enforcement Thursday afternoon that they had one day to move out of their apartments.

The City of Mishawaka released a statement saying Code Enforcement and the County Health Department made the decision together that the Princess Apartments were too dangerous for people to live in.

Carlo says he knows the apartments were not the best place to live. However, he says he was shocked and disappointed in his landlord's failure to provide suitable living conditions.

"We've got notices on our doors. I'm texting people and calling people. I literally like, I don't know why they would do this to somebody," said Carlo. "I don't know how any man honestly could say that he cares about people could let somebody live as bad as it's been here."

Carlo, his neighbors, and their friends had to spent the afternoon moving everything out of the apartments. As they moved out of the building they discovered some of the more disturbing hidden secrets of their homes including black mold and bugs.

"It's not fair to these people," said Frederick Cleveland, who was helping his friends move out. "They've paid their rent on time, they've done nothing wrong, and they are being booted."

The Red Cross will help the displaced residents get back on their feet over the next few days. Shelter is being provided just miles away at Coalbush United Methodist Church.

"We certainly don't want to see anything like [this eviction] happen," said Doug Farmwald of the American Red Cross. "We're really gratified that we can help be part of the solution. We can't make it all go away, but we can make sure they're safe, have something to eat, and have a safe place to sleep tonight."

The Red Cross can only do so  much for Carlo and others though, and they know in the next few days they will have to find a new place to call home.

"By the grace of god we'll be okay," said Carlo. "We'll walk these streets and we'll be okay."

The Red Cross says they are not looking for any sort of donations at this time, but they are hoping people from the community can reach out to the displaced victims with some long term housing solutions. Many of the victims were paying less than $500 a month in rent and are looking for similar costs elsewhere.

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