Aurora condos uninhabitable due to severe weather issues
Beacon-News Staff January 10, 2014 3:11PM
Updated: February 13, 2014 6:45AM
The city of Aurora has posted 66 condominium units on the city’s Far East Side as uninhabitable after the severe winter weather left them without heat and water for several days.
The units are contained in 11 buildings at the Willows of Fox Valley condominium complex in the 100 and 200 blocks of Gregory Street. The entire complex consists of 42 buildings and 222 units.
City officials were first alerted of a problem after the Aurora Fire Department responded to one of the units at around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday in response to a 911 a call for a broken water pipe. After the initial response, fire personnel alerted the city’s Property Standards Division of the problem.
City inspectors responded to the complex at around 1 p.m. that day and, after consulting with the property’s management company, discovered that several other buildings were without heat and water because frozen pipes had damaged the boilers in the buildings.
On Tuesday, the property management company indicated they had already taken steps to begin making the needed repairs and had informed residents in the affected units of the probability that heat and water would be off for several days. The overwhelming majority of those residents secured shelter with families and friends, city officials said.
During a reinspection of the properties late Thursday, city inspectors were informed that the continuing frigid temperatures had exacerbated the problem and affected at least 17 buildings and 102 units. While several buildings had been repaired, 11 buildings remained impacted.
The city deemed the units that were still without water and heat as uninhabitable, meaning that residents were urged to seek alternate shelter.
The city also consulted and worked with several non-profit organizations including the Salvation Army and the Association of Individual Development Victim Services to help provide temporary shelter for four families who were in need of further assistance.
The properties being deemed uninhabitable should not be confused with properties that are labeled condemned, city officials said.
Condemned properties are structurally unsafe and pose a major threat to public safety.
None of the condominium buildings without heat or water are structurally unsafe. Therefore, residents are free to remain in their units, which some have chosen to do, or to come and go as they please.
The city expects the remaining units to be habitable within one week.