“Destined to collapse.” That’s the conclusion in a structural report given to the Johnstown Housing Authority about the ceilings in Prospect Homes.
The housing authority shared that report with us after we filed a right-to-know request to see it.
A hundred families were told they had to move out of the Prospect community in early March.
They were given just 30 days to leave their homes.
The letters sent to them in the mail said it was because of structural issues and, on Thursday, we got to see what those structural issues look like.
“It’s not fair. It’s not fair what they did. They know they should have done things right and this would have never happened.”
Geneva Jones and her sister were moving their 88-year-old mother, who has lived in the Prospect community for decades, out of her apartment Thursday as there are only a few days left to vacate the community due to “structural issues.”
The inspection was done by Diviney and Associates and the preliminary report says they started inspections on February 15th.
The housing authority told us they asked for the inspections after a ceiling collapsed and injured a resident.
“What you can see is that they puttied them up in the ceilings up here, they put putty up there and then they painted over instead of tearing it down and doing it the right way. I was here two months ago, and they were supposed to come and inspect, nobody showed. I was here a whole two days, nobody showed.”
The engineers say they only did visual observations of the property.
The report says that the inspections were to focus on the ceiling issues, but they saw other structural concerns, which reportedly included floors sloping towards the exterior walls, cracking in the walls at the stairs to the second floor and evidence of major historic settlement.
“It all seems that these things are fixable and that they are happening in everybody’s home around Johnstown. There is cracked dry wall and damage like that, and you just slowly repair it. This is not something that just happened suddenly. They had to have known this was a problem for a while now,”
That report is dated March 1st and, just 8 days later, residents began receiving notices that they must vacate.
The housing authority says the majority of the residents have already moved out or are doing so in the next few days.
“I just can’t see no future here. If it wasn’t a future before, how’s it going to be a future later? You just got to keep moving on and start over and do the best you can. What can you do?”
Michael Alberts says it’s still too early to determine the future of the Prospect Community, but he expects there to be a geotechnical survey of the grounds starting Monday.