‘Unfortunately we have to leave’: Latitude Five25 closes, forcing out residents

Residents say the building has power problems, flooding, broken elevators, cold stores and other hazards.

COLUMBUS, Ohio. Residents living in an apartment on the Middle East Side are struggling to find new housing after the building was closed on Friday.

According to the city of Columbus, 104 residents were temporarily placed in local hotels.

City officials said the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority is working to find permanent housing for those residents who are already eligible for vouchers. All other former residents of Latitude Five25 are assisted by RH Brown and Company and the Board of Shelters.

RELATED: Town: Latitude Five25 completely released; all residents offered temporary housing

Residents say the building has power problems, flooding, broken elevators, cold stores and other hazards.

“I knew it was only a matter of time before something bad happened, but I didn’t think it would happen like this,” said resident Brandi Newsom.

The city said the buildings lacked potable water, heat, and a working fire extinguishing system. In addition, only one of the four elevators was working.

“We were here last summer when the air conditioning stopped working and some of them were 80-85 degrees if not more, so unfortunately we have a long history with this building,” said Anthony Celebrez III, Assistant Director of the Department construction and zoning of the city of Columbus.

“This is a tough situation that these tenants don’t deserve, which is why the city, county and many other agencies are making sure that what’s happening today and in the future is a good experience and that they end up in stable housing that they can live and move forward.”

Residents say it will be difficult to find other accommodation, but they are hoping for the best.

“Unfortunately, we have to leave, but, you know, this happens day after day,” said resident Natasha Lewis. “It’s very stressful, but they help and I’m blessed,” she said.

Both the city and Franklin County have committed $750,000 each for housing and support for residents during the transition.

On Tuesday, December 27, city prosecutors charged the property owners with contempt of court. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

RELATED: City and County leaders work on next steps following forced evacuation of Latitude Five25 residents

Latitude Five25 residents requiring additional housing assistance should contact the Shelter Board at 614-221-9195 or send an email to [email protected].

Franklin County also encourages religious leaders, volunteer groups, and any other organization or individual who would like to “adopt” a displaced family to do so by signing up here.

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