Despite the move out being delayed for residents at troubled Royal Delta Inn, housing hunting is proving to be a difficult process to some residents.
On Thursday, the Inn housed 66 residents. By Saturday, they were down to 33.
The fiasco started on July 24, 2014 when owner Harjinder Sandhu got one building violation regarding a water leak. He said he quickly got that fixed, and by July 31st, the repair was approved by the City of Galt. That same day, the Inn also passed the biannual Sacramento County Health inspection. But Sandhu said on September 10th, more than 20 people suddenly came from the city and county for a 4-hour inspection. Then, on October 30th, he was given a 141 page booklet, citing 1,800 violations.
The city of Galt has been sending letters to the Inn and its residents, saying they need to leave the premises, unless the building violations are fixed- some within 7 days, the rest within 30 days. Last week, residents worked together with the owners and started fixing things on their own to extend the deadline.
“We’ve gone over to every room that’s been occupied here, and we’ve got everything in the rooms up to code,” resident contractor, Ken Howze said.
But they say their work has been ignored by Galt’s city manager.
“We’ve done 200 violations taken care of already, and in the letter they sent, they said we’re not doing the corrections, and we refuse to, and that`s not the case at all.”
Howze and Sandhu said inspectors were supposed to come back to the Inn to make sure the violations were being fixed. However, they said city inspectors never showed up. Instead, they came with a new letter on November 13, saying everyone would be kicked out of the property by noon that day.
The utilities have not been turned off as of Saturday evening, and few residents continue to live at the Inn.
According to remaining residents, social workers have come to assist residents, saying they would help with any initial deposit costs, only if they themselves secure a new place.
However, resident Mark Bloom said that is much easier said than done. He and his wife are both on disability and on social security. They do not drive, have pets, and need a wheelchair accessible home. So even with assistance from a social worker, they said they are having a tough time qualifying for an apartment.
“It’s day by day,” Bloom said. “Walking around, looking for places to live, get applications, put them back in as soon as possible before the time runs out. If we could stay here forever, I would have loved it. That’s my best case. But the city doing what they’re doing, it’s not going to happen.”
Sandhu has spent more than $3 million on the Inn since 2007. He is not optimistic of his future.
“I don’t have any businesses but this motel. So now we are on the road. We are going to be homeless,” he said.
Many residents said they are willing to fight until the end. They are hoping to receive help from a pro bono attorney to help them fight their case.