ST. PAUL, Minn. - A ruling by a Ramsey County judge Wednesday might give hope to some St. Paul tenants stuck in the middle of a housing issue.
At last count, the city of St. Paul's Department of Safety and Inspection found nearly 600 housing code violations at the Westminster Court Apartments. The problem is the two buildings - with more than 60 units - are in foreclosure, which means little or nothing is being done to fix the issues.
"I can't sleep. Bed bugs, mice, roaches, then with the mold it's making my kids sickly. They have asthma," said resident Aminah James.
James is an unemployed single mother of four. She moved to the Westminster Court Apartments last year from Chicago. She hadn't seen the place first.
"I got four babies in there I got to raise," she said. "Why should I have to raise them in something like this? That's not fair."
On Wednesday, a judge appointed a receiver to the properties and ruled that the tenants must be taken into consideration going forward. The concern is that if the city has to condemn some or all of the units, people, like James, will get evicted.
City officials tell KARE 11 they don't want to vacate the properties but can't allow people to live in unhealthy or unsafe conditions.
The Department of Safety and Inspections will re-evaluate the apartments on January 18. If some of the units are deemed uninhabitable, they will work with residents to find new places to live.
KARE 11 was unable to reach the owner of the property for comment.
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