Downtown apartment building residents being moved out by management after deadly fire

PITTSBURGH — In less than 20 days all 76 residents of the Roosevelt Apartments have to be completely moved out. This after a fatal fire destroyed two apartments and significant water damage destroyed the building’s mechanical systems, including the elevators.

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Many of the residents have disabilities and family members are scrambling to find them new housing and pack up all their belongings.

A notice from property management said the building must be completely vacated by January 13.

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It was put on their doors on Christmas Eve.

We spoke with one of those residents on the phone today, but he didn’t want to go on camera for fear management would be angry with him for speaking out.

He fears many people won’t be able to afford this move.

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“It’s a considerable cost to move without notice, and lots of people in this building are older and infirm and don’t have the financial means to move. It’s an expensive ordeal! It’s a lot of hardship,” the resident said.

A lawyer for the Roosevelt spoke to channel 11, saying the renovations will take months and require the utilities to be shut off for extended periods of time. They say they’re working with state and federal agencies to help get people into available units, and also claim they’re paying for many residents to be in temporary housing right now. But in 19 days they will all be required to have a new place to live.

Residents told Channel 11 they still have unanswered questions.

Management said they are giving everyone back their security deposit and prorating the month’s rent. Several families said they are retaining lawyers.

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