Cloquet Apartment Building Deemed Unfit for Human Habitation

Repairs to the building must begin before the end of May, or all tenants on the second and third floor will be forced to move.

Cloquet, Minn.– A Cloquet apartment building has been deemed unfit for human habitation after a failed building inspection.

The building has a total of nine units and 12 residents. Those living in the building were given the notice after the city found the building was in violation of proper structure supports in the rear fire exit staircase.

The owner was given an initial order of repair back in September of 2020, but the city says that he has not started any kind of repairs to the staircase.

“This is their home, they live here, some people have kids that are going to school here, for them just to be uprooted, you know, it’s tragic,” says Cloquet county commissioner, Thomas Proulx, “It’s really tough, you know, we don’t want that, nobody wants that. There’s a need for this housing, like I said if the owner would step up that would be fantastic.”

Today, residents of the building and Cloquet city officials gathered to discuss re-housing options for those who will need to move-out.

One resident claims, the building is in such bad shape that she and others have fallen through the stairs, leading to at least one serious injury.

Building resident, Katrina Gomez says, “I actually fell through the stairs, I had surgery on my knee, I tore my meniscus. I fell from the third part of the stairs. There was actually two other people that fell through and the cops fell through as well. All they did was replace the board.”

Residents living on the first floor will be allowed to stay, as that part has not been deemed unsafe. The owner has been given until the end of May to show proof of a building permit in order to keep the building in tact. If the deadline is not met, residents will have to move out by June 1.

We spoke with the owner, Roger Bruhn and he told us he has been working to try to get funding in the form of grants to help pay for needed repairs but says the option hasn’t worked out.

Bruhn says, his next step is to apply for a loan from the bank to fund the repairs, which could cost up to 80,000 dollars.

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