Residents could be evicted from Barbara Building due to hundreds of violations

Plenty of unhappy people at this apartment complex -- after they get word they could soon be kicked out. More than a dozen people could be out in the cold, because of the terrible conditions inside their apartment building.

The city of Detroit says the building has hundreds of violations and it is ready to shut it down. Monday will decide everything, if the people living there will have to move out and if the city will take the building's owner to court.

They say they are cracking down on nuisance properties and lazy landlords. As a warning to sensitive viewers, there is a bit of foul language in this story.

"That (expletive) camera in my face and (expletive) got a microphone in my face," said a Barbara Building apartment employee. "They are trying to find out what's wrong with this damn building."

The men in cahoots with maintenance workers at the Barbara Building got ticked off when FOX 2 showed up Friday night - even using a 911 call as a threat.

The men don't want anyone to see the conditions inside and did not want FOX 2 to talk with tenants who may have to find another place to stay because of their negligence.

"Smoke detectors, we moved here in June and we just got our smoke detectors like last week," said Latecia Palmer. "And they said they just bought this building in June."

Palmer lives there with her two children and their father. She came home to a notice on her door.

The building racked up thousands of dollars in fines and more than a hundred code violations - from roaches to bed bugs, fire hazards and most importantly, inadequate heating.

A city spokesman says it can be 10 degrees outside and at times only 30 degrees in some apartments there.

FOX 2: "They were supposed to address these code violations Jan.  25th?"

"Yes," Palmer said.

FOX 2: "But apparently they did not.

Palmer: "They did not."

FOX 2: "Now you could be put on the street for what this owner failed to do?

Palmer: "Yes."

Inspectors from the city of Detroit are giving the building's owner one last shot to correct some of the major problems by Monday.  If they are not addressed, the city will start finding housing for people living there and give notice to close the building.

City sources say the owner fits the profile of a lousy landlord profiting off the plight of Detroit's impoverished.

Jerome Abecassis is a Parisian real estate investor living the high life in Miami. FOX 2 reached out to him and his property management company but did not get a response from either.

"I feel like they knew all the time and we just now receiving this after we paid our rent,"  Palmer said. "We haven't broken a lease so what about our money and what about our kids?"

Now a spokesman for Mayor Mike Duggan says because that building is not a Section 8 property, the only real recourse the city has, is to shut the building down over the code violations - but they're not going to put anybody out on the street for what the owner is refusing to do.

They say they are going to find housing for everyone living there if the owner refuses to fix the place up.
 


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