DES MOINES, Iowa – The clock is ticking for residents of one Des Moines apartment building. They may be forced out because their landlord has let the building fall into a dangerous state of disrepair.
Tenant Doug Jones says he has no place to go. “I haven’t been able to find any place to move or any apartments that will allow me to move into them, for whatever reason, I don’t know. But as of this point I have absolutely no place to go.”
Jones is one of nine tenants who will likely be forced out of the Navarre Building in the city’s Sherman Hill neighborhood Monday. On June 4, the city gave building owner Kurt Blunck 30-days to fix the problems, or tenants would have to vacate. Since then, the building manager says the roof and broken windows have been fixed and he was working on a possible asbestos problem in the basement. But with the holiday weekend, work has stopped, and it has to be completed by July 7.
“I’m freaking out. Pretty much at this point I don’t know what to do. There’s nothing much I can do, except just sit her,” Jones said. “I’m super scared. I really didn’t think I’d be in this position.”
Blunck, a prominent Des Moines architect, has not responded to our repeated requests for a comment.