Latitude Five25 Fully Vacated
All residents have been
vacated from Latitude Five25, often referred to as Sawyer Towers, and offered
interim accommodations following an emergency notice by Columbus Code Enforcement.
On Sunday, December 25, the Near-eastside buildings were found to be without
potable water, heat and a working fire suppression system. In addition, only
one of four elevators was working. The building is now empty and secured.
As of end of day today, 104
residents have been housed temporarily at area hotels. CMHA is working to find
permanent housing for those residents who already qualified for vouchers. The
R.H. Brown and Company and Community Shelter Board are working to find
permanent housing for all other former residents of Latitude Five25. The
emergency shelter set up by the Red Cross at Dodge Community Center closes at 5
p.m. tonight, as all residents have been moved to interim housing.
“While it has been a heavy
lift to find interim housing for more than 100 residents, I am extremely proud
of the collaboration between the city, county and multiple agencies to make it
happen,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “The next steps are permanent housing
for residents and court action to hold the owners responsible for allowing the
apartments to deteriorate to unlivable conditions.”
proud of the way the county, the city and so many community partners have
rallied to support and re-house all the impacted residents and families,”
Franklin County Board of Commissioners President Erica C. Crawley said.
“There’s still a long journey ahead of us — finding new permanent housing and
pursuing justice for our displaced neighbors — but we will be there with them,
and we will see this through together.”
Both the city and Franklin
County have each committed $750,000 for housing and support costs for the
residents during the transition.
The City Attorney’s Office
filed contempt charges against the owners on Tuesday, December 27. A hearing is
scheduled for Tuesday, January 3, 2023.
Latitude Five25 residents
that require additional assistance to identify temporary or permanent housing
options should contact Community Shelter Board at 614-221-9195 or [email protected]. The Franklin County Job and Family
Services East Opportunity Center located at 1055 Mt. Vernon Avenue is also
serving as a resource hub for impacted residents through 5 p.m. today. The East
Opportunity Center hub will be closed Monday, January 2, but will reopen
Tuesday, January 3, at 8 a.m.
County is also calling on faith leaders, volunteer groups and any other
organizations or individuals who would like to “adopt” a displaced family to do
so by signing up at https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=4SzFk3UNY0KauZwofiieGLQ5dfs88RZBt3iwaQXkQSVUMDExRFdRMlhDUlNKTDJBUk1USEhINUdCQS4u