Residents at Orange County apartment complex meet with FEMA representative ahead of eviction

Cypress Landings residents told to be out by Nov. 1

Residents of Cypress Landing Apartments in Orlando were able to meet in person with a FEMA representative at Oak Ridge High School on Wednesday.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Residents of Cypress Landing Apartments in Orlando were able to meet in person with a FEMA representative at Oak Ridge High School on Wednesday ahead of their expected eviction date.

Several community leaders have expressed concern there weren’t enough Spanish speaking representatives being dispatched to the area following Hurricane Ian. During the worst of the flooding due to the storm, water flowed as high as two feet inside first floor apartment units.

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Following an overall housing shortage in the state, tenants of the complex said they can’t find an available apartment elsewhere.

Residents inside first floor units said they have been told to be out of their apartments by Nov. 1 so the complex can complete repairs for the flooding damages.

People who live in the complex said most tenants receive housing benefits from the government, emphasizing the burden the move has on low income residents.

Santonio Ladoucuer said he was helping his mother Wednesday evening, loading furniture into the back of a U-Haul truck. He said there are no available apartments in the area, so his mother’s belongings are moving into a storage unit they were forced to rent.

“We have nowhere to go,” Ladoucuer said. “Most places are at least a year or have 10 to 20 people in front of you.”

Walking around inside his mother’s unit on Wednesday, mold was visible, covering the first foot on all the wall. Ladoucuer said he’s attempting to quickly get his mother out of the apartment because he’s worried about the air quality inside.

“She can’t be breathing in that condition. It’s not healthy, regardless. Plus, she actually had an issue breathing before,” Ladoucuer said. “It’s actually getting pretty bad. Your clothes, if you have been in there for a few minutes, they’ll actually smell like mold.”

Several residents who were seen at the complex on Wednesday also expressed concern affording a deposit for another rental.

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Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.