Future of Worcester Apartment Building, Residents Unclear After Roof Collapse

Residents of the Mill Street building will be meeting with housing organizations Tuesday to try to find a new place to live

Residents of an apartment building in Worcester, Massachusetts, are left waiting for support and watching a housing court case play out two weeks after a partial roof collapse at their building left them unhoused.

On July 15, construction materials placed on the roof at the Pond View Apartments on Mill Street and fell through all three floors of the building forcing tenants to evacuate. Two weeks later, some of them have still been unable to retrieve their belongings due to safety concerns at the site.

According to city officials, on Monday, July 25 inspectors and a structural engineer went through the building and determined that the structural issues brought on by the collapse are isolated to five apartments in the 32-unit building. Those units have been blocked off and cannot be accessed.

Some are calling on the owner of the building to do more to help tenants get their things out, an issue that has been escalated to housing court, according to the city. A judge and housing specialists are working with the residents and the property owners to come to an agreement on how to get everything out of the building.

Earlier this month, the property owner told NBC10 Boston that he offered to return security deposits to his tenants, reimburse them June and half of July’s rent, and give $750 dollars for relocation from his insurance.

Residents of the Worcester apartment building are scrambling to figure out where to go next after a part of the roof collapsed Friday.

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation, the city said in a statement. That investigation is in the hands of insurance companies and engineering experts, not city inspectors.

“Nothing can prepare one for the unexpected and immeasurable loss of being left unhoused and without their personal and important belongings,” Eric D. Batista, acting city manager, said in a statement.

The city said it is working with other agencies to offer relief and support for the displaced residents. This includes emergency shelter, medical care and food, clothing and other necessities. Partner agencies, including the Central Mass Housing Alliance and the United Way of Central Massachusetts, will then step in to help with longer-term support services.

An investigation is underway to determine how this happened but no one is allowed into the building until a structural engineer deems it safe.
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