Lookout Valley motel condemned after inspection finds electrical problems
A Lookout Valley motel is being condemned by the city and families staying there say they have nowhere to go.
Joseph Woods, his wife, and four kids have lived at Budget Motel on Cummings Highway for nearly two months. It's a home his kids love with access to a school they love even more.
On Wednesday, Woods learned his family would be losing their home.
“We found out the day before yesterday we had to be out on the 19th and then they told us yesterday we had to be out tomorrow which is today. That's a 17-hour notice. They should've at least gave us a week,” Woods explained. “It's not just get out and go stay somewhere. Where are we going to go? What are we going to do? Everybody’s asking that question every day.”
Woods says the motel owner found out the same day he did.
“He's a nice guy. They should have gave him time to figure this out. They tried to give him 30 days when he really needs two or three months,” Woods said. “His wife came up crying to us I mean literally in tears saying she's sorry and apologizing. It's not their fault.”
According to city officials, the main concern was with the electrical wiring in the buildings.
The owner tells Channel 3, the fuse boxes for the property are decades old. He says repairs could cost up to $100,000. He says one of his tenants tipped off the fire marshal’s office after he told her she could no longer stay there due to late rent payments. He says he plans on correcting the problems noted but said he just needs more time and money.
“He told us that if he gets it fixed back we're welcome to move back in for a month or two free of rent, just because he knows how it is to be on the road and homeless,” Woods said.
But until then, Woods says his family most likely will not have a roof over their heads.
“We just need help from whoever can help us,” said Woods.
Woods says he has not heard from the city since they contacted him two days ago regarding help with housing.
According to city spokesperson Richel Albright, “The City's homeless services team has already contacted all the people who were staying at the Budget Motel and they are in the process of filling out applications for a voucher through the Chattanooga Housing Authority. Our homeless services team are treating these people as if they were regular participants of the program.”
A representative with United Way's 211, a referral service that helps those in need, says they are also willing to help.
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