HOUSTON, TX - Shut it down. That's the order from a Houston judge when it comes to the Crestmont Village Apartments in south Houston.
"I think the judge is sending a statement to all land owners all across our city: we're not going to let you collect rent from the poor, bank this in your bank account and run and hide and not do the right thing," said Gerald Womack, the court-appointed receiver.
The property's 45 remaining tenants, including Carla Blockson, now have until Oct. 30 to move out.
"Pray that they keep the lights and stuff on for us so we can live how we're supposed to temporarily," Blockson said.
The power outages are just one issue for tenants; then there's the lack of water, the mold and the crime.
"The situation has been a very, very difficult situation," said resident DeShonda McCoy. "It's very, very stressful."
It's being made even more stressful by the city's forced move out. The city says the apartments are uninhabitable. Tenants don't disagree, but they say they don't have anywhere else to go.
Even more stressful -- the forced move out. The city says the apartments are uninhabitable.
Tenants don't disagree -- they just don't have anywhere else to go.
"We don't want to increase the population of the homeless in Houston," says council member Dwight Boykins.
"We're going to be working directly with them along with the city to help relocate into different housing," added Womack.
City staff and local brokers were on site Thursday to help expedite that process, but they're calling on the community to help out too.
"There are good people here," Womack said. "I think Houstonians, if you have units or apartments, give some of these people a chance."
That chance can't come soon enough for the people who still call Crestmont home -- for now.
McCoy summed it up, "We've been through enough over here."