Monday was the deadline for hundreds of residents in San Bernardino to vacate the building they lived in after it was condemned by the city, though some are still struggling to find another place to live.
Out of about 250 of the building’s residents, roughly 40 of them are left at 340 W. 4th Street.
Ruth Campos and her son, Fabian Campos, are among those who are still in the condemned building.
“I will be staying here until they come and tell us we have to go,” Ruth told KTLA.
The building, which is not permitted for apartment use, is filthy and has several code violations. Tenants in the building were given just 21 days to move out.
“It’s hard, you just don’t know,” she said. “First, we were staying in our car and we thought we had us a place and now we’re going to be out on the street again. It’s not fair. It’s not fair for those that are really trying.”
Christa Conry, an attorney with the nonprofit Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, said the dilemma that many of these tenants find themselves in, stuck between the city and the building’s owner, is an unfortunate loophole that vulnerable and impoverished communities can fall into.
“The law right now enables essentially what this law has done, providing uninhabitable homes and then just being able to say, ‘Oh, sorry. You all have to move out now because I didn’t do my duty and I didn’t provide you with a habitable home,’” Conry told KTLA.
A spokesperson for the city said the owner of the building has not adhered to the judge’s restraining order, which included helping pay for the cost of displaced tenants to relocate.
A hearing that was scheduled for this Friday, where the owner was supposed to show up, has been postponed until March. The city is set to meet Tuesday to talk about what actions will be taken next.
As for Ruth Campos and her son, they rented a U-Haul and were headed to a motel in Ontario, thanks to a two-week voucher given to residents. After that, though, they said don’t know where they’ll go.