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Eatonville Hometown Suites Residents Face Eviction Pending Building Inspection

January 31, 2014 | Orlando, WMFE - Dozens of residents at an Eatonville motel may face eviction pending a report from inspectors about the safety of the building.

A Hometown Suites resident holds papers he was given earlier this week with details about the possible eviction. Photo: Carmel Delshad | WMFE

There's peeling paint and water dripping from the awning, but Eatonville city officials say the problems with the Hometown Suites Motel are much worse.

So much so, they gave the roughly 40 residents 48-hour notice to vacate the property.

That deadline expired today as inspectors went through the motel for a second time to figure out if it was safe or not.

Eatonville Police Chief Gene Bernal  says two days' notice may not give residents time to find somewhere else to live, but that the situation warranted such action.

“The hotel has been deemed uninhabitable by our engineers, and so at that point it’s a public safety concern to me. And that’s why the folks were asked to leave that property, because it’s uninhabitable,” he says.

Many of the remaining residents say that they have nowhere else to go but the streets or their cars, and that they believe what’s happening is because of problems between the two motel owners.

“We don’t know what we’re going to do. We don’t have money like that to move. So if we get put out today, I guess we’ll be sleeping on the streets or in the car,” says resident Christine Cummings.

Cummings lives with her four children in the motel.

The city initially gave the two days’ notice to the residents to vacate the motel earlier this week, but then decided to wait for the results a second inspection this morning.

About 40 people are currently living in the motel.


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