Over a hundred families in New Orleans East facing eviction in September

Residents at Chef Menteur apartment complex face short notice eviction

NEW ORLEANS - People living along a certain stretch of Chef Menteur Highway have had to deal with a lot of issues, from substandard living conditions, to deadly shootings in their complex.  But now about a hundred families are facing a new notice that could put many of them out on the street.

"You could see they have doors busted wide open," said resident Charlene Walker.

Residents living at 6000 Chef Menteur say they know their apartment complex makes headlines for shootings and crime, but they say it should be known for its maintenance issues.  

"We don't have anybody back here doing nothing for us," said Charlene Walker as she showed Eyewitness News her apartment.

Walker pointed to mold that had spread in her unit.  And it was just back in April when WWL captured how living conditions were as residents struggled to get repairs.  Trash was everywhere, and in one unit, a ceiling collapsed.

MORE: Tenants call for help as apartment complex crumbles around them 

"Dear Residents, ownership has decided to shut the property down completely,"  Walker read.

Now residents like Walker have a new worry.  Earlier this month they were warned to get out by September 9th.

"How could we up and find houses like that, and we just had to take them [kids] to find school clothes, tennis shoes and all that stuff and make sure our children go to school?" asked Walker.

The building has been foreclosed.  It didn't even sell at auction in May recently so now Gulf Coast Bank owns it.  But the bank has decided to stop letting people live there.  Hannah Adams is a lawyer trying to help Walker out.  Adams works with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, a group dedicated to helping low-income people with legal representation.

"The reality is these are families living paycheck to paycheck," said Adams.

Adams explains, the building doesn't even meet federal standards for Section 8 subsidies, so residents are paying with their own money.  And given their circumstance, housing in this complex is the best some can afford.

"Like what I'm going to do?" asked resident Crystal Everett.

Residents like Everett who says she works hard to put food on the table for her young son and pay rent, doesn't know what to do find a place in time.

"Thursday we hit the street in the heat, bus to the bus we have no car, you know this is our convenience, we hit the street, and we walked," described Everett's attempt to find a new place.

Latter and Blum, the company managing the property, told residents they would give residents a $1,000 reimbursement for moving they get out by August 31.  But residents like Everett says there's no place to go, and she can't afford the costs upfront.

"Everything we've been looking at it's like [900] or better and a deposit got to match."

Eyewitness News reached out to Gulf Coast Bank and Latter Blum and left messages along with voicemails earlier in the day during business hours, but have yet to hear back.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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