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Montco Apartment Complex Declared Unfit, Residents Forced Out Quickly

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(The Washington Towers apartment complex was declared unfit for habitation.  Credit: Brad Segall)

(The Washington Towers apartment complex was declared unfit for habitation. Credit: Brad Segall)

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By Brad Segall and Diana Rocco

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. (CBS) — Dozens of residents of a Montgomery County apartment complex are scrambling to find new homes, facing an imminent deadline after their complex was condemned by township officials.

“My personal belongings are going in my trunk,” says Fran Allagbe who has considered sleeping in her car, unsure of where she’ll go.

U-Haul trucks filled the parking lot at Washington Towers on Bethlehem Pike Friday as residents loaded up their personal belongings. They were given two days to pack up after township officials determined that mounting code violations made the building unsafe.

“The last thing anybody wants to do is displace residents, so we have worked hard to make this livable,” says Whitemarsh supervisor Bob Hart. “But when it gets to a certain point that we have no other choice … we have no other choice.”

The violations, he says, include exposed wiring, emergency doors that don’t work and malfunctioning elevators.

wash twrs evac 2 Montco Apartment Complex Declared Unfit, Residents Forced Out Quickly

(Credit: Brad Segall)

Tenant John Emmell was frustrated with both the township and the landlord.

“We don’t have a place to go to,” he told KYW Newsradio. “We’re just going to put our stuff in storage and see what happens.”

The township says it will work with social service agencies to find the residents new homes, and the landlord says he will bring in a contractor to bring the 80-unit building back up to code as soon as possible.

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