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By Chuck Weber/CBS 12
RIVIERA BEACH, Fl. — Three families living with no utilities, and in poor conditions, are now staying at a motel.
CBS 12 aired the story of the three families residing in a Riviera Beach apartment building. The Palm Beach County Health Department said an inspector found roaches in the units, and water and feces running down the walls of one of the apartments.
On Tuesday, residents Sivina Smith and Dominque Lane showed us the plywood covering the place where Lane’s bathroom ceiling caved in.
Riviera Beach recently shut off the water in the apartments, then Tuesday FPL turned off the power, citing safety concerns over the building’s electrical system.
The mayor’s office heard about the situation. Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Thomas Masters met with the tenants, then lined up motel rooms for all three families.
Right now it’s an emergency, said Mayor Masters. For me, it’s to get these families out of this situation, like right this minute. And then look at the issues later.
Thank you so much, (Mayor Masters) and News 12, said Smith, with tears streaming down her cheeks. You all did everything we needed. Thank you so much.
The city has a code enforcement case against the property’s owner, John Hendricks. Still, city spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said staffers did not want to rush to condemn the building. She said if residents had nowhere to relocate, shuttering the apartments could leave tenants worse off.
When CBS 12 cameras showed up at another property owned by Hendricks, a pick-up truck sped off down the street. Neighbors said Hendricks was one of the men in the truck.