Crestview Towers Residents Still Don't Know When They Can Return Home
The Surfside condominium tragedy has left many housing units across Miami-Dade County under scrutiny. Residents of the Crestview Towers condo in North Miami Beach were evacuated last Friday night, following orders from zoning officials to condemn the building earlier that day.
Engineers inspected the building over the weekend, and representatives of the association say they were issued a report deeming the building safe for occupancy. The report has reportedly been submitted to North Miami Beach officials for review but, as of Tuesday afternoon, city of North Miami Beach officials told WPLG they had not received the report.
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Crestview Towers management received an official warning from an engineer that deemed the building unsafe on Jan 11. The report was not submitted until last week. Crestview legal representatives say that the report was unclear and that inspections were paused because of the pandemic. The 10-story building was built in 1972.
Roughly 300 residents were affected by the notice and about 150 had no place to go. The American Red Cross and other city organizations set up a temporary shelter and meals at the Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Center’s E. Darwin Fuchs Pavilion in North Miami Beach.
The Miami-Dade Homeless Trust responded to the situation over the weekend and provided hotel accommodations for residents who needed them.
Ron Book, chairman of the Trust, says that the organization was already overwhelmed and strapped for resources due to eviction moratoriums resulting from the pandemic.
Book suggests that temporary displacement for residents in surrounding areas could rise as more condominiums face condemnation over structural fitness.
“These are people that have never experienced homelessness before,” he said, “we are dealing with the unknown.”
The North Miami Beach city manager said that follow-up decisions would not be made until at least Wednesday.
“The timeline falls strictly on condo association’s board,” said City Manager Arthur Sorey III, in an interview with WPLG.
The initial report conducted by engineers describes the building as structurally and electrically compromising. Subsequent reports cite that the building requires repairs but should be deemed safe for occupancy.
North Miami Beach has set up a hotline for residents to get more information regarding temporary housing, assistance from the American Red Cross, pet services, and Crestview Management. Residents can call 786-589-4056 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.