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Des Moines Apartment Being Closed by City

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Tenants in a downtown Des Moines Apartment Complex are scrambling to find a new place to live.

The city is closing the Navarre Apartment Complex at 718 15th St. because of safety concerns.

Doug Jones said the same time residents found out they had 30 days to leave, the power was cut to the hallways.

"It`s been over a week for sure that the lights have been out, it`s especially bad going to the third floor where I live, it`s really dark up there, it`s just not a safe building," says Jones.

The notice is the end of a three-year dispute with the building's owner, Kirk Blunck and the City of Des Moines.

City officials say the title holder, Kirk Blunck, was given notice on June 6, 2011 the building wasn't being maintained and needed to be fixed.

Four months later on October 12, 2011 the Housing Appeals Board heard the case but Blunck didn’t show up.

On August 2, 2012, Blunck is ordered to vacate the property or bring the building up to compliance.

When no action was taken the city went to a Polk County Judge on April 16, 2014 and asked for the property to be turned over to the city.

Last week on June 6th, tenants were notified they have 30 days to vacate the property before the city shuts it down.

"Most of us don`t have the finances or resources to just up and move out of somewhere with no place to go, some of us don`t have family or friends we can depend on for a lot," says Jones.

Jones says Blunck won't return anyone's calls and hasn't fixed issues like his leaky shower.

Now that's the least of his worries, while he tries to find a new place to live.

"It`s really frustrating, I don`t know how legally or morally how you can do these things, take people`s money and just leave them in horrible conditions," says  Jones.

City officials say they took this course of action out of concern for the residents.

On top of the lights being out, the city says there are no working smoke detectors and no repairs have been made in years.

All tenants s will need to be out by the first week of July.





  • The Phantom

    I know other cities have done this in the past; have a judge order the owner of the property to live at the reseidence for 90 days or intill all issues are fixed. I bet that would motivate the landlord.

  • Dave Harvey

    In your story you stated the city took possession back in April. But tennants have used flashlights for two weeks due to hallway lights out, is it not the “Citys” problem? Why haven’t the city did anything about the hallway lights. Please tell the whole story.

  • Shellyr

    Read the story again; the city requested for the property to be turned over to them in April. That doesn’t mean the order was implemented immediately.

  • christy

    lived in this bulding bout 3yrs ago and he is the worst landlord I have ever had. I am a single mother of 2 kids and my kids shared a room and the celing caved in on my kids beds nothing was done the room was crawlin with bats due to the big whole in celing I lived on top floor. I was forced to find new place to live due to living with bats living with us rats living in the walls. I would call and get no reponce he did nothing the whole time I lived there about 2yrs no repairs were made

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