Council Bluffs residents given hours to leave apartment

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 5:45 PM CDT
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (WOWT) - There’s lots of activity around this apartment complex near West Washington Avenue and Scott Street in Council Bluffs Monday.

Residents are being evicted and they tell 6 News they only had a few hours notice before they were told to get out.

“Well, I wasn’t even ready at all I’ve got nothing packed up nothing ready to go, nowhere to go.”

“We’re just kind of stuck right now we only had like three hours notice to get everything out and we just paid rent you know what I’m saying, and they said they knew this two weeks ago why did they let us pay rent and stuff you know what I’m saying, they took all our money so now we don’t have money to get a place.”

Area nonprofits are here to help the tenants move their stuff and to help them find a place to stay. Council Bluffs Police are also on scene.

“We’re working between Heartland Family ServicesNew Visions and the building unit we’re just kind of here to keep the peace, there’s a lot of moving parts we’re just one part of it,” said Sgt. Cory Woodward, Council Bluffs Police.

From the outside, the complex looks in pretty bad shape. A lot of the units have broken windows, the place just looks run down and it doesn’t look much better on the inside.

“A lot of the life safety features like the fire alarm system is inoperable it’s been damaged, vandalized, there’s a significant number of refuse and waste, exit doors are blocked and in this type of building that doesn’t have a fire sprinkler system that’s the keyway in and out,” said Jim Sherman, Council Bluffs Chief Building Official.

City officials say they tried to work with the new management company but they had to act to protect the community.

“We had a meeting with them later I’d say about two months ago in February developed a plan but as always they always don’t go accordingly in this case, it got to a point where we needed to take some action reluctantly, we always try to let the property owners do as much as they can but in this case for the best of the community and the residents we had to mobilize today.”

Jim says 13 of the 16 units were occupied, but they don’t know the exact number of registered tenants. City officials also had to consider the apartment complex was right across the street from an alternative school.

“They’ve been more than patient with us and that’s another factor for us to respond today too because we have to also take in those who surround and encompass the building.”

Heartland Family Services is helping the tenants find somewhere to stay temporarily, then they will work to help find the former tenants more permanent housing.

6 News reached out to the property management agency, but so far we have not heard back.

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