CHICAGO — Days after a fire tore through a transient hotel on Chicago’s West Side, residents are still struggling to find housing.
A fire broke out around 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the New Parie Hotel on the 2800 block of West Washington Boulevard in East Garfield park neighborhood.
Since then, they have been without a place to live.
Some have had to sleep out on the street.
Beverly Haywood is one of dozens of residents who escaped.
“We slept on the church porch steps that night with blankets from the Red Cross and granola bars and water,” she said.
“I can't believe the owner of this building has no compassion for his tenants,” tenant Terry Parkey said. “(We are) good tenants. Everyone pays their rent.”
Tenants paid $660 on July 1. It is money they say the management company YJS corporation will not refund.
”You pay to live in a unit. If their unit is not habitable, give them their funds so they can seek help elsewhere,” community advocate Gloria Austin said.
The residents are low income and many are disabled. They said with no funds, they can't put a deposit down on a new apartment.
The owner of the building, New Parie Investments, has a history of code violations. A recent inspection found a lack of carbon monoxide detectors, failure to remove hallway obstructions that hampers travel and evacuation and exit signs not illuminated. The owner is due in court on these violations on August 8.
The building has heavy fire and smoke damage on the lower level and is still without running water.
The city building department told WGN News it must be vacated but it has not been condemned.
To make matters worse, tenants say looters raided the building Sunday night.
“Someone came through and ransacked the rooms,” Haywood said. “Dumped all the stuff on the beds.”
WGN News contacted Alderman Walter Burnett's office. Burnett said he is out of town but would send someone from his office to assess the situation.
WGN News also reached out to the owner of the building and their attorney but there was no response.