Tenants of Miami Buildings Deemed Unsafe Camping Out in Parking Lot

Residents of twin buildings damaged by Hurricane Irma were still not allowed to return to their homes Tuesday.

Civic Towers and Civic Towers Senior located near Jackson Memorial Hospital were deemed unsafe by the City of Miami in the aftermath of Irma. Many residents have been camped out in the parking lot because they don’t want to leave their homes or possessions.

NBC 6 spoke to residents Tuesday who said there’s no relief in sight. Some said they have yet to hear from the owners about what’s next. The ownership group is Redwood Housing, which is based in California. Deputy County Mayor Russell Benford said the owners should be helping out their tenants.

“Like every private property owner, you're responsible for the well-being of your tenants,” said Benford. “To have people as old as 100 years old out here in a sweltering parking lot, without any type of answers where they can go long term, is irresponsible and unacceptable.”

The company said it cannot allow residents to return to their units until the city gives the order declaring the buildings are safe.

Before Hurricane Irma, the buildings were undergoing renovations. After the storm, the power and water went out.

Authorities are urging residents to take advantage of shelters and other aid agencies, but some refuse to leave. Redwood Housing said it offered to help residents into shelters and sent buses to transport them, but a handful of residents chose not to go.

In a statement, the owners said: “We are in frequent contact with the government and are working diligently on a recovery plan. Our team has also reached out to each and every resident and has helped residents apply for emergency assistance from FEMA.”

The Miami Heat heard about the plight of the residents and responded to the towers Tuesday to handout sandwiches to residents camping out in the parking lot.

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