HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Residents now have a place to stay for the next few days after an exterior wall of an apartment building in Holyoke partially collapsed.

The Holyoke mayor's office says the Red Cross stepped in tonight, giving fifteen families who used to live inside this building vouchers to stay in a hotel for the next two to three nights.

"We spoke up. We are not going to back down," one Holyoke resident tells us.

Families of a Holyoke apartment building that partially collapsed on Sunday are still frustrated, but now have a place to stay for the next few nights.

"I am happy that the city stepped up, because that was the whole point of us doing what we did and I am thankful for them," one Holyoke resident explained.

Holyoke officials opened up the War Memorial for people to stay warm and eat pizza before connecting them with the Red Cross Wednesday night.

"It's important we step in, but it doesn't mean that it is not frustrating and upsetting not just to me, but more importantly, the people that live there," stated Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.

According to documents, the apartment building on Essex Street is owned by Windsor Realty and the city says the owner has thirty days to fix the building.

The mayor of Holyoke, Alex Morse, tells Western Mass News he is frustrated by the lack of support for the tenants.

"It is February. People pay their rent for the month and are being told that they are on their own, which I think is just complexly unacceptable," said Morse.

Mayor Morse says the city was forced to step in.

"It's completely unfortunate that the landlord is shaking his responsibilities to the tenants. you know? We have done everything that we can to contact the state, the Department of Housing and Community Development," continued Morse.

The city has planned for state agencies to head to the War Memorial at 2:00 Thursday.

"I have reached out to MEMA, the state agency, and they are working with us to convene agencies here tomorrow to meet with families one-on-one," stated Morse.

Mayor Morse says the city is now looking into legal options against the building owner.

"We are going to be reviewing all legal options against this particular building owner. He owns other buildings in town. This isn't the only problematic building that he owns and the fact that, again, that he is willing to try to put people on the street tonight without upholding his responsibility, he needs to be held accountable for that," added Morse.

Again, the city of Holyoke has called in the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to help every person who lived on this side of the building.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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