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Tenants frustrated over evacuations at apartment complex

Updated: Nov. 25, 2019 at 1:14 PM EST
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POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - First, a fire displaced 20 families at Lawrence Avenue Apartments in Potsdam. Now, others are getting displaced due to construction.

There was hope when an upgrade was announced for Lawrence Avenue Apartments. But now those upgrades are leaving some tenants frustrated.

“It was going to be cool. People were going to get help here. Now we're being pushed around,” said Charles John Durgan, Lawrence Avenue Apartments tenant:

Evacuations are ordered at times while work is going on. Some say they were given only a two-night stay in a hotel for what was a six-night evacuation in early November.

“We couldn't come back until 5 o'clock that evening on the 13th, but we had to be out of the hotel by 11,” said Durgan.

Durgan said he got the full six-night stay paid for when he kept complaining. But when he came back, signs were put up for a three-day evacuation starting November 19 for asbestos cleanup.

Lawrence Avenue Apartment residents experienced tragedy in January. Then hope in August. And now this.

A late January fire at the apartments displaced 20 families. Seven months later Community Preservation Partners bought the affordable housing complex. It is one of the area's larger ones.

“A lot of the people that live in this low-income housing project are senior citizens; you have veterans that are living here. There are people that are physically disabled. There are people with mental disabilities,” said Brandy Conners, Durgan's girlfriend.

Community Preservation Partners issued a statement Monday saying the well-being of residents is its top priority. It noted it has provided hotel stays and food vouchers on a case-by-case basis.

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