MIAMI (WSVN) - Residents in a Miami condo building were ordered out of their homes in the middle of the night after the city deemed their building unsafe.
Officials ordered residents of the building at 5050 NW Seventh St. to be out of their apartments by 8 a.m., Tuesday.
“They began work without permit on repairing the columns,” City of Miami Building Department spokesperson Maurice Pons said. “They reduced the size of the columns, and that created an unsafe condition. Until the shoring is put in place correctly and the repairs are done to those columns, the building cannot be rehabited.”
7News cameras showed several corroded columns outside the building. One resident shared videos of flooding at the building as well as other areas of concern.
The building was officially deemed unsafe on Monday after unpermitted work was stopped on Friday. The columns have been deemed as “structurally insufficient.”
A city inspector, along with board members, took a look at the work being done and deemed it unsafe.
“As can be expected, they’re upset that they have to leave their belongings behind and that this is happening all of a sudden,” said Karla Fortuny, Chief of Staff and Communication for Commissioner Alex de la Portilla.
“It’s very, very sad and it’s very unfortunate, not only for me, but there’s a lot of elderly people that live here,” said resident Marialejandra Perez. “You don’t have to be engineer to know the building needs work. We walk downstairs, and it was complete mayhem, complete chaos.”
“My grandfather just comes in the house screaming that we have to leave immediately,” said resident Mya Ncastanedo. “If this building is demolished, there goes our property of the house and all our memories from growing up here.”
One resident shared cellphone video that captured flooding in the building’s parking garage. A neighbor also shared video of him walking around the building and noticing several problem areas.
The apartment building has 130 units. While residents were upset, some were thankful for the city for putting them somewhere to stay for the night. A total of 58 families have been moved into a hotel so far, and 15 others will soon be on their way to a hotel.
“It’s a series of unfortunate events,” resident Frank Garcia said. “Luckily, we got the City of Miami trying to do as much as they can. If you walk inside the building and take a look, it’s pretty evident.”
The city said they will provide housing for the families until the issues are fixed. It remains unknown how long that will be.
“The city is giving them housing, lodging and will be paying for it until the time that they can come back to their home,” Fortuny said.
The building failed its 40-year recertification in July.
“The city had been working with the engineer for this building for weeks now, and they had given specific instructions on what to do in the building,” Fortuny said. “Unfortunately, those instructions were not followed.”
Residents have pointed to building management as those to blame for the unsafe living conditions.
7News has reached out to building management and the condo association for comment, but neither organization has replied.
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