Tenants ordered to move out of 'unsafe' apartment complex

CHAZY, N.Y. (WCAX) Tenants of a Northern New York apartment complex need to find a new place to live.

Residents of the Gray Gables Apartments had until July 22 to vacate their homes after the town of Chazy, the health department and other state agencies deemed the building unsafe.

The complex stands along Route 9 in Chazy, right across from the Chazy Central Rural School. The Gray Gables Apartments were built in the early 20th century by local legend William H. Miner.

"He built the school, he built the hospital in Plattsburgh and he built this building here. This is where the teachers would stay," Chazy Town Supervisor Bill Arthur said.

The home was eventually sold to Fred Reus and turned into the Gray Gables Apartments.

"It's something that's been being kicked down the road for about 30 years now," Arthur said. "The upkeep and caretakership has not been done well."

After receiving complaints from tenants, the town code enforcement office sent a notice to Gray Gables owners Fred and Cecilia Reus calling the building a "structure unfit for human occupancy." The town ordered all tenants out by Monday, July 22.

"The windows are out, the stucco is coming off, the roof is leaking but it could be brought back if someone was willing to put the money into it," Arthur said.

The attorney for the Reuses says an engineer needs to look over the building and make a list of repairs. He says if those repairs are made, tenants can move back in.

Rotella Pest Management of Plattsburgh looked at the building and said there were no rodents inside, but Arthur says it's up the town's code enforcement officer to make the final call on whether the building is livable again.

"Our town codes officer will go over after the work is completed and either approve it or deny it," Arthur said.

The building can house up to 12 tenants. Most of them were already out by Monday, but there were still four residing in the home. They did not want to comment on the situation.

The Department of Social Services is working with the tenants to find new housing

"We have a great shortage of housing in Chazy, there are no apartments or houses that are available," Arthur said.

He hopes the problems are fixed or the building is sold so it can be a safe place for tenants to call home once again.

Arthur told WCAX News some of the tenants still living in the apartments don't want to leave. The sheriff's department will be by Tuesday to make sure the building is clear. Any tenants still there will be served a notice.