Dozens of tenants given 12 hours to find new place to live

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dozens of families had just 12 hours to find a new place to live after the City of Glendale posted notices on their apartments Thursday morning.

"I've lived here off and on for five years, I'm a disabled Vietnam vet, and I don't have no place to go. I don't have transportation and I got to be out by 7 o'clock tonight," said Dwight Ramsey.

He lives in one of the units at the Glendale West Apartments that were deemed unsafe by the city.

"They didn't explain anything other than, 'Good luck,' " Ramsey said.

Representatives from the city made the rounds at the complex Thursday morning, They posted notices on 19 units, and told tenants that they have three days to clear out all their stuff but just 12 hours to find a new place to stay.

As of 7 p.m. Thursday, they will no longer be able to sleep in their apartments.

"I've got five hours, then I'm on the street," Ramsey said. "And I have a dog. I don't know what to do."

All of this, the city told 3TV, is a result of inspections performed at the complex in late January. They say they found serious problems, including fire hazards.

"We also found electrical issues, non-permitted electrical wiring throughout the property, we found stairwells that were unsafe, we found units without fire alarms -- it's an unsafe situation for people to be in," said Glendale Development Services Director Sam Mcallen.

The results of the inspection, they say, pose immediate danger, hence the short eviction notice.

The property owner, though, claims this is politically motivated and is in retaliation for the 2011 shooting of a Glendale police officer at this complex. That officer later died.

Many of the tenants say they've been kept in the dark by the complex and the city about any potential hazards, and were taken by surprise when they were told they could no longer stay there.

"How would you like it if somebody walked up, knocked on your door, and said you had three days to get out and you can't stay here after 7 o'clock at night? You wouldn't like that," Nancy Fuller said.

Some of those living at the complex are disabled and living on fixed incomes; others are low income. All of them are now in the same predicament and unsure of where they'll go.

"I don't know, I'll sleep in my car tonight," Fuller said.

The city did provide each tenant with a packet containing names and numbers of short-term and long-term housing options.

Still, tenants say 12 hours is just not enough time to find a new place to live.