Dozens vacate condemned North End apartment building - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Dozens vacate condemned North End apartment building

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Days after Springfield housing officials ordered them to leave, dozens of tenants vacated a North End apartment building Thursday night.

Residents had until 5 p.m. to pack up everything they own and get off the premises.

At that time all heat and electricity was shut off in the building.

Tenants told CBS 3 Springfield they must now start over.

"Water got shut off, lights got shut off, so there's nothing in the building that's going to help anyone," said tenant of three years, Jacqueline Baez.

As she and her neighbors packed up everything from family pets to furniture, she was one of the lucky ones.

"Well suddenly something came up, so thank God for that, so now we have somewhere to go," she said.

But others will spend some time in area shelters before figuring out their next move.

"We liked this building over here, we live here. Now we're moving out," said Eric Gonzalez, "going to a shelter."

It all comes after a housing court judge ruled Thursday morning that tenants must vacate the now-condemned building.

On Monday they were initially told to be out by 5 p.m. But many waited until Thursday morning's ruling, hoping it would change.

Some residents complained to CBS 3 of the crumbling walls, bugs and illegal activity around the building.

But for residents like Cristina Andino, who moved out of her darkened apartment Thursday evening, this is her home of 30 years.

She doesn't speak much English, so her daughter, Alba Andino, spoke for her.

"She feels really sad because she's been living 30 years here," Alba Andino said.

Cristina Andino will stay with her daughter until she can find permanent housing.

For her, it's leaving three decades of her life behind, but for Baez, it's a chance to get out.

"We lived with enough mice, enough bed bugs, enough drama, enough drugs. At least finally we'll get a better life," she said.

Residents will be allowed in for the next two weeks to get the rest of their belongings between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. as long as they have permission by the property owners.

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