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Storyland Motel Residents Evicted in Fresno

by Mike Rhodes (editor [at]
Close to 100 residents of the Storyland Motel in Fresno have until Friday, April 10 to vacate their rooms. The City of Fresno condemned the motel on March 18 because of numerous code violations, which included broken windows, rodents, mold, and broken plumbing.
§The Storyland Motel
by Mike Rhodes
Storyland Motel residents, most of whom are poor and one step away from homelessness, have been forced to move out of the Storyland Motel. The City of Fresno did set up a relocation program and are paying for moving expenses. The city is also giving vouchers to the residents to move into other inexpensive motels in the area. When I was there today, a representative from the Central California Legal Services was on site to make sure that the residents legal rights were protected.
§John P Saunders
by Mike Rhodes
John P Saunders lives at the Storyland Motel and is hoping to relocate to the Sahara Motel. John is a retired diesel mechanic His sister Carol, who lives next door, is trying to move but says she is having a hard time finding someplace that will accept her dogs.
§Judy Rodriguez
by Mike Rhodes
Judy Rodriguez and her daughter Cheyenne Blanchet are still looking for someplace to move to. Several of the residents told me they were not happy about moving. Even though they complain about the condition of the housing, they felt like they were part of a community and were sad to have to move.
§Moving Day
by Mike Rhodes
The person in the truck showed me inside her apartment where there were holes in the doors, black mold in the kitchen, and broken windows. She said there is lead paint throughout the complex and open sewage outside. She suggested that the lack of repairs and maintenance of the Storyland Motel was criminal.
§Broken Window
by Mike Rhodes
There were broken windows everywhere. The Storyland Motel was shut down because one resident got tired of her rooms condition and the refusal of the owner to fix things. She called code enforcement and they condemned the building. There are a lot of apartments and motels like Storyland in Fresno. Clearly, the slumlords that own these properties need to be forced to bring them up to code. On the other hand, if the City of Fresno and Code Enforcement were to shut down all units that are not in compliance, the community would soon run out of available affordable housing. This could, in the short term, dramatically increase the number of homeless people in Fresno. In the long run it could motivate the City and County of Fresno to insure that there is adequate affordable housing for everyone who needs it.
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