Owner of illegal Springfield rooming house back in court - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Owner of illegal Springfield rooming house back in court

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The owner of numerous illegal rooming houses in the city was back in court on Friday.

He now owes more than $15,000 to his tenants, in addition to paying for their motel stays as he brings his buildings back up to code.

"We lived there for eight years and this might sound messed up but if we would've blown up, we wouldn't have ever known why," Jean Vezquez, who lived in the Main Street apartment that has been condemned, said.

The apartments were in violation with housing codes. Some of them were infested with bed bugs, mice and others had faulty wiring and no smoke detectors.

"It's a blessing in disguise because now we will be getting into an apartment with a landlord that actually cares about our safety and well-being," Cassidy Ascolillo, who lived in the Medford Street apartment that was condemned, said.

The owner of the buildings, Sam Castellano, has agreed to rehabilitate the homes.

He's been charged with more than 75 violations due to the conditions inside these buildings.

"It's not only endangering the occupants inside these buildings but the police and firemen that have to go in and pull these people out of there in case of an emergency," said Deputy Director of Springfield's Code Enforcement David Cotter.

Castellano will be back in court on June 5 with a rehabilitation plan in order to get these buildings back to code so they can be lived in again in the future.

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