Residents displaced by fire now desperate for housing - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

Residents displaced by fire now desperate for housing

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Fort Wayne residents say they need a place to live -- something they claim their apartment managers aren't providing.

"I got out. I thought they might have been able to put it out but they weren't. Everything just burned up," 14-year resident Betty Tucker says.
"Right now, it doesn't seem like they care," seven-year resident Kent Ferguson adds.
The eight families forced out of their Tamara Gardens apartments after Friday's fire pleaded with community leaders for help getting into new units.
The Red Cross provided vouchers for two nights at a hotel, but the residents have had to scramble to find other places to stay ever since.

"Unanimously, everybody said we need somewhere to live. Some of them, people gave them food, but they're riding around in their car with food. And that was a young lady with little babies," says Pastor Stephen Terry from New Life Church of God.

The residents say they're hearing that management is actually taking names off of a waiting list to move into vacant units within the complex instead of taking care of the people who have lived here for years on end.
"I guess they like taking care of them but what they should be doing is trying to take care of us. You know, I've been here going on 14 years in that very same apartment. I haven't been late with my rent or anything. Never missed nothing," Tucker says.

"With people that come out here and stay and they've paid for several years and been good tenants, you would think they'd go out of their way to try to put them up. But you've got families now that are displaced and really broke and they need help," Ferguson says.
They say the properties have vacant units, and can't understand why they can't move into them.
"It hurts because I thought that the company was more reputable than that. And right now it just seems like they just don't care. I understand that they're taking a loss too, but you've got people around you taking a bigger loss," Ferguson adds.
Managers at Tamara Gardens say all available units have been spoken for, and that it's illegal to bump the displaced residents to the top of the list.

They also tell us they're working with other apartment complexes in town with availability to try to find space for the displaced residents.

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