Officials lay out options for renters evicted due to flooding - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Officials lay out options for renters evicted due to flooding

Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Some renters said they are being evicted weeks after the floodwaters receded with little time to find a new home. 

The St. Jean Apartments off S. Harrell's Ferry Road, like many, took on significant water during the historic flooding. 

Renter Clarence Washington thought he was lucky. While he lost his car, his upstairs unit was untouched. When demolition and clean up on the lower floors began, he said he asked management if he needed to move. 

"She said, ‘No, you're fine. You’re perfect.’ That was three weeks ago," Washington said. 

On Tuesday, however, he heard a knock at his door and found an eviction notice waiting, which read: 

"It was recently discovered that due to the efforts of the recent flood, the premise that you're currently occupying has become unsafe due to the demolition of the downstairs unit. Because of the extent of the damages the premises are currently uninhabitable." 

Washington said he has less than seven days to move out and find a new home. While he understands the dangers that come with construction, he is upset by the short notice. 

"What do they want people to do? That's all I'm asking is, 'What do you want people to do?'" Washington said. 

According to the St. Jean property manager Jenni Hubert, the managers originally believed that residents on the upper floor would be allowed to remain in their units during construction on the bottom floors. However, Hubert said after construction began they were told that the lower floor demolition created several safety issues, including violations with fire code. For that reason, she said, they were forced to serve eviction notices pursuant to the lease the renters agreed to. 

However, FEMA spokesman Darrel Habisch said there are several options for these evicted renter. First, Habisch said it is vital to register with FEMA through 800-621-3362 or by going to https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

Habisch said anyone who has already registered for FEMA needs to contact them again and update FEMA on the sudden change in circumstance so they can help find temporary housing.  

Habisch added if the apartment is part of Housing and Ubran Development (HUD), renters can also contact HUD for assistance through the agency's website. Renters can also contact the Red Cross for information on a temporary shelter. 

Meanwhile, Washington said he is frantically calling other apartments complexes with little luck. 

"I have to keep looking, keep searching, keep praying. That's all I can do," said Washington. 

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