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Over a dozen residents in Council Bluffs displaced after city condemns apartment building

The city condemned the apartment on Monday
Posted at 6:54 AM, Apr 12, 2022

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (KMTV) — David Jenkins was sleeping in, thinking his Monday would be relatively uneventful. That’s until police showed up with an abrupt warning.

Jenkins along with around a dozen other tenants of a run-down apartment building in Council Bluffs were told they had only hours to evacuate after the city condemned the property due to its condition.

"[We had] about three and a half four hours notice to get all our stuff and get out," Jenkins said.

Jenkins, a resident for two years, said the condition of the apartment had worsened considerably over the past few months. He said people have damaged windows and doors.

He and other tenants are trying to figure out the next steps so they don’t end up on the street.

"Hopefully we got somebody we can stay with tonight, I hope." He said.

Organizations that help those in these situations are seeing this more often. Heartland Family Service staff on-site assisted the displaced residents and said this is the second time this year they’ve had to deal with a housing situation of this magnitude.

"When people are in crisis they don’t usually have the ability to think straight or to plan or look through what all their options might be," Heartland Family Service program director Cassie Barrett said.

Barrett added that these kinds of situations can add to the many barriers keeping people from finding good housing.

"They had so many barriers to getting housed in the first place that they didn’t have a lot of options and so that’s why people end up in places like this," She said. "When this option gets taken away from them, they have even fewer options and it becomes very difficult to find permanent suitable housing for folks in these situations."

Jenkins said it’s just not fair that so many have to suffer because some people chose to make his home unlivable.

"A lot of innocent people are out on the street that pay their rent and belong here," Jenkins said. "They screwed it up for everybody!"

Heartland Family Service has a triage number for people to call in a housing crisis situation. They can be reached at 531-200-3500 or online at heartlandfamilyservice.org.

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