Tenants at White Deer Apartments in Saginaw are feeling completely blindsided after receiving a letter in the mail telling them they will need to leave in just a few days.
“I didn’t even sleep last night. That’s how blindsided this was,” said Jeremy Robinson, tenant.
Robinson was shocked when he received the letter in the mail on Monday, July 13 from White Deer Apartments. The letter stated he will have to vacate the building by July 16.
“We just had a newborn. He’ll be two months on the 16,” Robinson said. “Where we gone go in three days?”
Robinson said he had no clue they were in jeopardy of being evicted, especially since they just paid rent.
“She still taking people’s rent money. She took people’s rent money for this month. Then the next week later you telling everybody we gotta be out in three days,” Robinson said.
According to the letter sent by management, it was a decision made by the city of Saginaw due to lack of cooperation by the owner when it came to maintenance.
“There’s only so much that I can do if the owner is not sending me any money to properly run this place,” the manager of White Deer Apartments said.
TV5 was told the owner lives outside the country and hasn’t been to the apartment complex since 2017.
The manager said she was just as blindsided as the tenants, but is doing everything she can to help them – including providing a list of resources on the second page of that letter.
“With COVID going on and all this other stuff, just, we gotta be gone in three days? People still work. Some people unemployed out here. It’s just tough out here,” Robinson said.
The City of Saginaw said the vacate order was due to the property management’s failure to comply with multiple prior orders to correct several safety violations at the property.
John Stemple, Director of Inspections and Neighborhood Services, stated the property has been an ongoing safety and code enforcement concern for several years and the owner was asked to make needed repairs.
“Our staff is committed to providing safe quality housing for our residents. When unfortunate situations like this occur, we do all we can to minimize the impact to those who are impacted through no fault of their own.” Stemple said. “Our residents deserve a safe place to call home, and we will continue our efforts to ensure this is the case.”
“We realize that this is a difficult time to relocate; however, for the health and well-being of these residents, they must vacate as soon as possible before a tragedy occurs. The residents and their families are at serious risk by staying here,” Stemple said. ”Safe and affordable housing in our city is important, but the conditions in this case are unacceptable. Our code enforcement standards are in place to protect our residents, and we expect all rental properties to meet that standard.”