Apartment Complex Residents Search For New Homes
City Says Broadway Apartments Are Dangerous
The city of Superior is calling an apartment complex at 1516 Broadway Street a serious safety hazard.
City officials say the situation is so dire that all 19 residents need to evacuate their homes in less than two weeks on Jan. 2.
The timing falls during the holiday season and many residents are struggling to find a new place to go.
Natasha Burke just moved into the building late November with her boyfriend and 7-month-old baby Cora. She says they signed a lease that started Dec. 1 and was never told that the building may be shut down in a few days. Less than a week later, they discovered they were being forced to move out.
“I thought, ‘I can’t believe you’d do this to a family with a child,’” said Burke.
The City of Superior says the building is a fire hazard and has several electrical and plumbing violations, including leaking raw sewage on some of the units’ ceilings.
“It isn’t good for them to be living there,” said Superior City Council President Dan Olson. “It’s a coffin waiting to put bodies in it. It’s dangerous and unsafe.”
Olson says the building’s owner, Carol Reasbeck was given several warnings and chances to bring the building up to code but failed to do so.
“You’re giving money away not knowing if you’re gonna wake up the next morning alive,” said Olson. “That’s how serious it is.”
For that reason, Olson says the deadline cannot be extended to wait for residents to get new homes, everybody has to be out by Jan. 2.
Locals like Marty Curtiss of the Superior Landlord Association have stepped up, creating GoFundMe and other campaigns to take care of the financial burdens of the residents.
He says because the tenants are low-income and there’s few places to rent in Superior it’s unlikely everyone will get a happy ending by Christmas.
“I don’t think we’ll have all of them home by that date,” said Curtiss.
Several volunteers, the Superior Salvation Army and United Way are leading a drive to collect funds to support them.
“It would be a Christmas miracle to get everyone in the some homes would be nice,” said Burke.
Building Co-Owner Carol Reasbeck declined an interview with FOX 21 but sent the following written statement:
“I’m devastated that after a lifetime contributing and being part of this community as a resident and a career of trying to improve the City of Superior as an advocate for women’s health, the developmentally disabled, a school board member and a City councilor that at 72 years of age, I’m having to fight with the City over a building that I’ve consistently improved. My sister and co-owner is 80 years old, our building was approved by HUD and fire inspection every year that we have owned it until all of a sudden, in this past year and a half the City says the building isn’t viable anymore. Even now as the City is trying to cut off all possibility of being able to do the work– we have continued to do the work the City has requested and we should have it done or nearly done by the deadline that was imposed upon us of January 2nd.
I have complete confidence in the building as a residence for my tenants, who are about to become homeless at this time of the year thanks to the city, so much confidence that I can say I would feel very comfortable if that was my home for myself, my children and grandchildren.”
Olson says Reasbeck is currently attempting to do repairs on the building without a proper permit.
To learn about Broadway Apartments-linked volunteer opportunities available, visit www.volunteersuperior.org; or contact Marty Curtiss at 218.390.1801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contribute to the GoFundMe, click here.