Move-In Day Delayed for Parkside East Apartment Tenants in Need of Assistance

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Property managers of the Parkside East Apartment complex say it could be August before some tenants are allowed to move back in.

The complex remains uninhabitable after flooding there following flash flooding on July 1st.  Work to install drywall and safety systems is still needed. Conlin Properties, the group that manages the apartments, says it's aiming for August 1st to move-in second and third floor tenants but warns it could be longer than that.

The first floor of the buildings were severely damaged however the second and third floors remained dry and damage free.  Flood victims on the first floors were given a small financial stipend and living arrangements. Other tenants were given between $100 and $200 with the promise to be back in their units within a couple of weeks. Tenant John Staley says his patience is running out. He says the second and third flood residents should have received more help.

"These people work. It's not like they don`t have money. We just need a place to put our heads so we can go to work," he says.

Moving back into the apartment complex is what Staley would prefer. However, finding a new and affordable home for his family of four is proving to be  difficult with the limited options for low-income living. Instead, he's been forced to live out of his van.

"We're already on fixed income," he says. "I'm not going to have $1,000 to $1,500 in the next two weeks for first months rent and deposit."

Staley has reached out to assistance programs like the Impact Community Action Partnership but has heard little from them. It's organizer says it's the result of an influx of assistance requests.

"We do have longer waits than normal," says Anne Bacon. "Right now it can take two weeks to get an appointment with a case worker. We asking everyone to be patient."

More than 700 low-income families have applied for the assistance which allows them to receive up to $5,000. There are specific areas and dollar amounts on where and how the money can be spent. Bacon says based on the severity of the families needs, the organization is working with the Department of Human Service to alter the restrictions and guidelines.

To receive the funds, families must apply then schedule an appointment to meet with a case worker. From there Bacon says families should not expect to see all the money up front.

"Some things can take time. It can take anywhere from 1 – 2 weeks depending on how quickly we get home repair bids from people but the things like food and lodging we are trying to do a soon as possible," she says.

The assistance program is income restricted. The deadline to apply is August 18th. Click here, for more information.