St. Louis Metro News: Elderly and Disabled Residents of Midtown High-Rise Must Find New Homes by February 6
The Midtown high-rise, home to mostly elderly and disabled residents, has been given a deadline of February 6 to find new housing. This comes after a frozen pipe burst on January 15, causing flooding and forcing the evacuation of nearly 200 residents. The majority of these residents are elderly and disabled, making the search for new homes even more challenging.
Housing Fair Organized by St. Louis City Hall
To assist these displaced residents, St. Louis City Hall organized a housing fair, which was attended by nearly 80 evacuees from the Heritage House Apartments. The fair, held at the Hilton by St. Louis International Airport, saw the participation of more than a dozen community groups, including the Urban League and the St. Louis Area Agency on Agency (SLAAA).
Hilton Sheltering Evacuees
The Hilton has been providing shelter for around 120 former residents of the Heritage House Apartments while they search for new homes. Charles Wartts, 77, who has lived at Heritage House for two years, says the housing fair has lifted his spirits as he has found two or three promising options for a new home. He also mentions that rental companies are offering special deals to help ease the transition for the evacuees.
Funding for Moving Expenses and Extended Stay at Hilton
One major concern for the evacuees is who will cover the cost of moving their furniture and belongings from Heritage House. Michele Coleman, a case management coordinator with SLAAA, says they are working on a solution to fund the apartment moves and also cover the extended stay at the Hilton beyond the February 6 deadline. However, the details are still being worked out.
Housing Fair Continues
The housing fair will continue on Wednesday, January 31, from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Hilton. While some evacuees remain hopeful, others express concerns about the lack of communication and the challenges of finding affordable and suitable housing in such a short period of time. One 65-year-old woman, who has yet to find a new home, shares her anxiety about the future and the difficulty of finding housing in just a week.