SILVER SPRING, Md. — Checks began arriving Monday for some of the displaced residents of the Arrive Silver Spring apartment complex, where 101 units were condemned in the wake of a fatal fire that left a 25-year-old dead.
But as of Monday afternoon, many of the residents said they were still worried about where they would lay their heads this week, as they believe their landlord will stop paying hotel bills on Tuesday. Thirty-three families were left displaced after the Feb. 18 fire and many have been living in hotels ever since.
Neither the landlord, a California-based corporation called Trinity Property Consultants, not Montgomery County authorities have been able to secure permanent housing plans for those displaced.
One tenant tweeted the conversations her family were having regarding their future.
Tenants who went to Arrive Silver Spring offices said at least five received substantial checks late Monday totaling three months of rent. Two others said they did not receive payments and were told to return Tuesday.
The checks are being issued as the hotel deadline loomed and after Trinity Property Consultants President Sam Eisenmann appeared in a Zoom call with residents Thursday that was arranged with the help of County Council Member Kate Stewart. Eisenmann promised that no resident would go homeless.
Stewart said the scale of the disaster combined with a critical shortage of affordable housing has made solutions difficult.
"Finding comparable housing in our area is very hard and we have a very tight housing market," Stewart said. "And when it comes to affordable rental properties we know it’s very difficult. These are checks for those who are unhoused and have yet to move into new apartments."
In a written statement, a representative for Trinity Property Consultants reported the company has provided 51 apartments either at Arrive or at other Trinity properties in the area for displaced residents.
However, 15 tenants and their families who have found alternative housing cannot move in until the beginning of next month or later, the company said. And 18 tenant families still have not found a new place to live at all, according to the statement.
But 101 apartments were condemned in total, and there's still no certainty for the remaining displaced families with less than a day to decide if they'll continue to stay in the hotel.
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