HARVEY (CBS) — There was a knock on their door, a quick inspection and then they were told to get out in 72 hours.
That’s what dozens of people at a Harvey apartment complex say happened to them without notice, CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports.
The families are paying about $500 to live in the RJ Harvey Management Apartments, 305 W 154th Place, with roaches running all over the kitchens, including right next to baby bottles.
The city of Harvey says the inspections were prompted by complaints about the living conditions, and that the tenants misunderstood what was said about the 72-hour notice.
However, the residents say the inspectors made it clear they had to go.
“They came upstairs, inspected our apartments and said we got three days to evacuate our premises,” said Martha Mauriy.
And Mauriy wasn’t alone. Several residents told Martinez their apartments were inspected and were told they needed to leave.
Eric Simmons says his apartment is infested with mice and roaches. Mold covers his bathroom. He says he isn’t waiting three days to get out because he has a one-month-old daughter
“Everybody else got three days, but being that she’s one-month old, she can get sick off that mold, we got a day to move,” Simmons said. “I never brought her in [the bathroom] because I’m scared of her getting sick.
“Everywhere you look, everywhere you turn, you can’t open nothing without roaches falling out. You’ve got to be careful with your food.”
Sandra Alvarado, a spokeswoman for the city of Harvey, says those kinds of problems prompted the city inspections, and several violations were found.
She said the landlord was given 72 hours to fix those violations, but residents were never in danger of being kicked out.
“They’re not being evicted.” she said. “They’re not being thrown out. We are just simply trying to improve the living standards here.”
But residents say that’s hard to believe given the signs posted on many of their doors.
“People on oxygen tanks, we got kids,” Mauriy said. “They telling us we have to move. Where we going to get the money at?”
The building’s owner met with the city’s planning department today and promised to begin the needed repairs tomorrow. If he can’t get them done in 72 hours, city officials say he can file an extension.