27 Tenants Evicted From Harvest Village Apartments - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

27 Tenants Evicted From Harvest Village Apartments

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PHILADELPHIA -

Moving day can be emotional time for those leaving their longtime home, but the emotions run even higher when those folks are being "ordered" to leave. FOX 29's Bruce Gordon covered the story about the city crackdown and those impacted by it.

More than two dozen renters are learning the hard way about the importance of checking out your new apartment to make sure it really is an apartment.

FOX 29 paid a visit to the Harvest Village Apartments at 3330 North 22nd Street on Sunday afternoon and found some very unhappy tenants.

"I feel screwed. I was paying to live in a luxury building," Michael Bias said. "That's what I was promised."

Tenants told us they have been paying rent here for months only to be told by the city, in late August, they had until September Ninth to get out.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections says that the building is unsafe for human habitation and that it had no fire safety equipment inside at all.

Just as bad, License and Inspections says that this 90-unit building was illegally converted to apartments and was operating without a valid rental license.

Unsafe and illegal, the place could not continue to house tenants like Ashley Taylor.

"This right here is not fair to none of us and there's people in there that's got families," Taylor said. "They've got kids."

Monday morning we were back, as L&I oversaw the eviction of 27 tenants packing their belongings into anything that would hold them.

"Some of them have places to go. Some people went to shelters and some of us, just out here," Doniesha Goines told FOX 29. She moved in here just three months ago.

The city provided grant information for alternative housing to those who needed it, but even with ten days notice to leave, some tenants felt that they have been treated unfairly.

"And then now we've got to move out and it's just like rushed. They didn't give us no time or none of that. Now you see me and my family just packing up, just going," says another resident.

An L&I spokeswoman says that the owner of the property, Gethsemane Outreach Ministry, was given ten days to correct the many violations. When the deadline passed with no action, the evictions were ordered.

If you are looking to rent an apartment in Philadelphia, go to the city's Licenses & Inspections web site to see where you can check to make sure your apartment building is safe and legal.

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