PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of Pascagoula families are trying to figure out where they'll be living in the coming week. WLOX News Now has confirmed the city will turn the water off on Monday and condemn Magnolia Manor apartments - forcing residents to find another place to stay.
Martrell McCall and his family moved out of Magnolia Manor on Tuesday after receiving notice the previous day.
"They are saying that it's under the health code, which I do believe because we have some that's out here full of mold," said McCall. "It's roach infested. You have mice running around. Right now our trash is out here that hasn't been picked up in over nine months, and it's everywhere."
New owner Casey Fall took possession of the property the last week in January. Fall told WLOX by phone from Oregon that his vision is to do a major renovation overhaul. However, the new owner may have to it renovate without tenants living there.
Pascagoula officials spent Tuesday morning walking around the complex. They say along with sanitation concerns from all the uncollected garbage, there are electrical concerns and the water bill is past due. If the water gets turned off, by law, no one can live on the property.
"A lot of people are facing the streets. Especially people that's already paid up their rent in advance, or people that just got jobs, just moving out here. We've all put our money in so now we're all in a bind looking for somewhere to go. We have nowhere to go; a lot of us don't," said Stephanie Robinson.
One of the residents with nowhere to go is 53-year-old dialysis patient David Gardner.
"It's just really been bad. We don't know what's going on from one day to another day," said Gardner. "I pay my rent every month. Full, on time. It's going to be alright though. It's going to be alright. God is with me."
WLOX also spoke with the property's previous owner Rick Madsen by phone from New York. He says the water bill and garbage pickup bill were paid through December and he will pay whatever he owes for the January bills. Madsen also noted the property was sold about two weeks ago. Madsen believes some of the residents are upset because of eviction notices for not paying rent. Madsen added that he is unaware of mold and pest control problems, and noted that the property did have an exterminator.
Fall says he was unaware of the issues that have lead to the property being set to be condemned. Fall also added that he just found out in the past 48 hours about the issues, but still plans to move forward with renovations if the city gives him a clear path to occupancy.
A Pascagoula City spokesperson released a written statement saying in part,