City preps for apartment inspection, Students look for answers

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The deadline hits for a Carbondale apartment complex. Inspects are expected to go into Campus Habitat buildings Tuesday and check if they are safe for residents. Several building currently have code violations.

Many who live in Campus Habitat apartments go to school at Southern Illinois University. Classes are set in about two weeks. But with their apartments in questions some have turned to other places for answers.

SIU students Deanna Booker and Brandon Jones stopped by Carbondale City Hall Monday. Both have leases with Campus Habitat. Booker says she's come to city hall in an effort to get some answers about her lease.

"I'm provided with a few answers, but not the answers that I am looking for right now," Booker said. "Right now my answer is, can I get out of my lease right now."

Booker says just days before she was to move into her apartment this month, she got a call from Campus Habitat.

"I was just notified Monday that I would have to relocate somewhere else and I refuse to take it because the apartments that they showed me, it was crappy," Booker said.

Heartland News obtained some 50 pages worth of serious violations filed by the city of Carbondale against Campus Habitat. In the stack, citations date back to winter 2010. A company receives a citation if it does not fix a known violation. The citation is then filed in court.

Most recently, Campus Habitat received several notices to vacate both apartments and whole buildings if several violations are not resolved.

SIU student Brandon Jones has lived at in a campus habitat apartment for more than three years.

"It's one big headache," Jones said. "Yes it is. You want to have some stability so you can focus on other things."

Campus Habitat has seven buildings with some 400 units in Carbondale. The city says several could be shut down if health and safety violations are not fixed. According to city documents, many of the violations surround fire safety.

But with classes set to start at SIU, both Booker and Jones say they are frustrated the problems were not solved earlier.

"It don't make no sense that it took this long for things to get right, for the kids to come back," Booker said.

Heartland News attempted to contact Campus Habitat management both by phone and person. No one could be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, an SIU spokesman's said they are looking at options to help students.

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