ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – The city said the apartment complex is not safe for the residents or the people who live nearby. Now, they’re shutting it down.
“This is awful. I don’t think this is fair to anybody. This is not our fault,” said Polly Rudolph, a resident at the Santa Clara Apartments in Española. She’s worried because the city says everyone living there must move out by November 21.
The city said the property is a nuisance. The fire marshal inspected the property in January. In March, the city fined the owner $11,000 for the high number of false fire alarm calls in 2021. The city sent a letter giving the owner adequate time to fix the issues with the fire alarm system, electrical problems, and squatters causing fires.
“We go there two or three times a day for false alarms, and nobody evacuates the building,” said Española Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief, John Wickersham. “Everybody just stays inside the residence. It’s just a matter of time before a tragedy happens there.”
There are other problems as well. Española police show up at least once a day. Police say the apartments have a narcotics issue and violent crime. The department’s most recent homicide occurred in the parking lot.
“We have an elementary school that would constantly be on lockdown because of some of the activities that were occurring at the Santa Clara Apartments,” said Española Chief of Police Mizel Garcia.
In the end, the city said the property owner, John Bosley, did not bring the 48-room building to code. Last Monday, the city decided to condemn the building. Leaving residents worried about what’s next.
According to the city, residents may be able to move into some other apartments the property owner has. The property owner did not want to comment to KRQE. According to police, another property Bosely owns may soon be condemned as well.
Since the apartments are government subsidized, the USDA is stepping in to help residents with housing vouchers. Some residents said they still have not found a place to live.