Dozens of people who live in a nearly untenable apartment building in Mishawaka are being told to relocate by the local housing authority.
The Rabbi Shulman Plaza Apartments are unsafe to live in, according to housing authority experts in South Bend. Residents attended a meeting with the South Bend Housing Authority Monday evening where they learned that the city and the feds will be helping them with their relocation efforts.
“You’re not being evicted, you’re being relocated,” said South Bend Housing Authority director Tia Pauley to the group of residents. “Because the Housing Authority knows better and so does HUD (Housing and Urban Development) that we need to get you in a better place.”
“We have major problems in that building,” she added. “You all didn’t have water, you didn’t have heat. We aren’t sure how long the heating system is going to last.”
Residents have complained to the Housing Authority about bed bugs, roaches, and other pests in the building, along with broken doors, missing stoves, and a lack of basic utilities. They say apartment managers have been grossly neglecting work orders to get everything fixed.
Now that the city is involved, residents are being told they will likely have 60-to-90 days to find a new place to live within a 50-mile radius of the building and once everything is shored up, both the city and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will pay for a moving truck for their relocating efforts which includes security deposits for their new apartments.
The residents can move anywhere in the country if they like and the two departments will help pay for the move.
The city of South Bend still has to hear back from HUD before they can get any of that approved. Until then, Pauley says they are doing everything they can to start the process of getting people out of the Rabbi Shulman apartments.