Some Displaced Residents want Permanent Housing, not Emergency Shelter

AM800-NEWS-tents-245-Detroit-St-July-2021

Close to 20 displaced residents on the city's west side are turning down emergency shelters.

Residents at 245 Detroit St. were forced to leave the apartment building Wednesday morning, but a group simply moved to the lawn of the property.

The city issued a Prohibition of Occupancy Order last week due to the building's lack of working fire alarms, heating and ventilation systems and running water to the entire building.

Ward 2 Councillor Fabio Costante visited the site Thursday. 

Some residents have told AM800 News there's no place to go, but Costante says there is space at emergency shelters.

"There's still some that are refusing those options for their own reasons and I don't want to judge that at all," he says. "So what we have now is situation where folks are essentially living homeless on the property."

Costante says many of the people he spoke with saw an emergency shelter as a temporary solution and some feel they're owed a rent refund.

"I think a lot of these folks want to be housed more permanently ... but the reality is that won't be able to be accommodated with respect to 15 to 20 people at this time," he says.

He says individuals and community organizations continue to support the residents.

"Coming by on a regular basis to provide immediate needs like food and water," he says.

Even though they're choosing to remain on the property, Costante says the city is still working on housing solutions.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens told The Morning Drive that the owner of the building might seek a court injunction to have them removed.

The lawyer for the owner previously told AM800 News that the building has been targeted by vandals after attempts to comply with city orders. 

Officials issued the occupancy order to allow the owner to secure the building and repair it.