GREENSBORO, N.C. — Heritage House residents who remained Wednesday morning were forced to pack up their belongings as the City of Greensboro began the condemnation process of shuttering the troubled housing complex.
Utility crews turned off water to the 178-unit building just after 9 a.m.
By then, however, many people were already waiting outside with suitcases and boxes, amidst the chaos of moving companies, U-Hauls and police officers.
The City of Greensboro said at a news briefing Wednesday that there are still about two dozen people who needed a place to live, but expects everyone to be out of the complex by early afternoon.
At that point power will be cut off.
Residents will be able to appeal the condemnation, according to City of Greensboro Communications Manager Donnie Turlington.
City attorneys will be on hand Wednesday to speak with residents.
An appeal hearing is scheduled for mid-August.
The Interactive Resource Center in Greensboro says it will open its doors at 11.am. Wednesday to residents who need emergency housing. The IRC will convert into a 24-hour shelter over the next two weeks with room for up to 70 people.
Buses will begin shuttling people every hour starting at 10 a.m.
Greensboro city leaders say people will be able to return to Heritage House on Aug. 1 and Aug. 6, to collect, with a police escort, any large items left Wednesday.
Police officers will watch over the shuttered building moving forward to ensure no one tries to get back inside.
A resident was arrested Tuesday for stealing copper piping that caused flooding in the Meridian Convention and Event Center next door, according to Greensboro Police.
Many residents have already moved out leading up to Wednesday.
The City of Greensboro along with community groups like the Greensboro Housing Coalition have helped more than 100 families finding housing over the last month.
In June, city inspectors did a building-wide inspection and found more than 830 housing code violations. Problems included broken smoke detectors, roach and bedbug infestations and animal feces on the floors.