We have more on the upcoming relocation of Residents from the Prospect community in Johnstown. It was just last week that Residents were told they had 30-days to leave. We got some answers about the reason Residents are being told to leave.
Originally, the letters they got in the mail said it was due to Structural Issues. Johnstown Housing Authority Executive Director Michael Alberts emailed us, saying concerns started after part of a ceiling fell on a Resident recently. He says that Resident’s injuries were not serious. According to Alberts, that led to an Inspection of the entire community and the preliminary reports indicates it could happen in any ceiling in the community.
Johnstown Superintendent Amy Acurio told us 50 Students in her District will be impacted by being forced from their homes. Dr. Amy Arcurio saying: “The School District is there to support the Families and the Students.” Arcurio says she was notified by Alberts last Thursday about changes that were going to occur in the Prospect community. Arcurio saying: “We currently have fifty Students that reside in that Community and about 24 of those Students are our youngest learners there at our Elementary School.”
Knowing how serious this situation is for her Students and their families – Arcurio says she sent those Students home on Friday with resources available in the School District that could assist them during this time. Arcurio adding: “We also sent home a change of address because the biggest impact that we have is transportation. Once Students relocate to a new community or to a new apartment or house, we have to develop a new transportation plans for that Student.”
No relocation plans have yet been set in stone – and Arcurio says majority of the housing options are within the Greater Johnstown School District, but there are some housing options that are not, which does concern her and other School Officials that her Students could face homelessness. Arcurio adding: “We can take care of the Educational side of this challenge, but we can’t take care of the housing side of the challenge.” Alberts also says he hopes the families with school-aged children can be housed within the District.
Dr. Arcurio, in closing: “We are encouraging our families to please, you know, let us know as soon as possible because then, you know, the more lead time we have the better we are able to support those families and especially the Students, you know, who will have the most difficulty during this time.”
Alberts told us the Housing Authority is looking out for the Residents’ safety, and after a Structural Inspection, will determine if the units can be repaired or if they need to take more serious and permanent actions.