ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Dozens of residents in a St. Petersburg neighborhood are outraged they are being evicted from their homes, and only have a few weeks to find a new place to live.
Developers are planning to demolish the Stanton Hotel and Stanton Apartments to make way for a major expansion of the nearby Cordova Inn.
Resident Charlie Graham lives in the Stanton Hotel. He was moving boxes out of his place on Wednesday but told News Channel 8 that he does not have a place to live yet.
“I’m taking the stuff to a storage unit. I’ve been putting in applications for housing but the wait is a year and a half,” said Graham.
Graham is one of the dozens of residents told they have to leave. Residents who pay rent weekly were told they have 15 days to move out.
Those paying monthly were told they have 30 days.
“My neighbors are sick, older people. One just had major back surgery. One is like bed-stricken. So you know, we’re scrambling to find somewhere to stay,” said another resident who did not want to be identified.
The current building owner, TJM Properties emailed 8 On Your Side that “If the tenants who got 15 days’ notice need more time to vacate, they will have till the end of the month to leave if needed.”
The company also said, “TJM Properties has been working with the Homeless Leadership Alliance, which helps lower-income people in situations like this.”
The company New Hotel Collection emailed that it is not handling the evictions but is in the process of buying the property. The company emailed the following statement, “The Stanton buildings are no longer safe, so it’s important for residents to find new places to live. The Stanton’s ownership company is offering a significant amount of help by forgoing October rents, providing cash payments, and connecting residents to community resources.”
A spokesperson confirmed the company plans to pay residents $500 if they clean their units, and they will give them their security deposit.
Residents say it’s nearly impossible to find affordable rent, and are asking for more help and more time.
“It was all of the sudden thing. they just kind of like snatch the rug from under us,” said Graham.
“60 days, 90 days, yeah that’s would have been better,” said another resident.
On Wednesday evening, the St. Petersburg Tenants Union held a rally in support of the residents, demanding they be given more time and more money to move out.